Close the digital divide between cities and the countryside by bringing ultrabroadband to companies and supporting with new technological solutions the great potential of sector innovation to benefit the economic recovery of the country, speeding up the digital transition in the Made in Italy agri-food industry. This is the goal of the agreement signed between Coldiretti, TIM and Bonifiche Ferraresi in the presence, respectively, of the Chairman Ettore Prandini, and of the CEOs Luigi Gubitosi and Federico Vecchioni.
The coronavirus emergency has revealed the strategic nature of the digitisation of the country, also to support the competitiveness of the Made in Italy agri-food industry, from e-commerce to process optimisation, in order to obtain increased productivity accompanied by a reduction in costs and the promotion of environmental sustainability. New resources also to enhance the great potential of what the countryside has to offer in the way of tourism, food and wine, with a good 92% of national local products produced in small Italian villages with less than five thousand residents, as revealed by the Coldiretti-Symbola survey.
The understanding will boost the digitisation process of the internal and rural areas in order to encourage the adoption of innovative applications that take advantage of the potential of fibre and related services to support the agricultural and food enterprises that produce, transform and market essential goods and services, also thanks to the network of Agricultural Consortia. Agriculture 4.0 represents a strategic tool for the post-COVID economy, with the aim of involving 10% of the cultivated ground in Italy in two years.
Moreover, the agreement establishes that TIM, through the “Operazione Risorgimento Digitale” programme implemented with major partners and with the aim of disseminating the digital culture throughout the country, will organise seminars and professional training opportunities for Coldiretti associates to foster learning about the digitisation processes in the sector.
Another example of collaboration is the Coldiretti Member's Portal with the creation of Demetra, the first integrated system for the online management of the farm, with real time readings of the state of health of the crops, weather forecast data and temperatures, soil fertility and water stress, which will be further enhanced through the agreement with TIM. The agreement also focuses on improving electronic commerce through the “Coldiretti Campagna Amica” Platform, the large direct sales network with over 1,300 markets spread throughout the peninsula, which is also expanding its coverage to digital and e-commerce platforms. The understanding will also help to develop new solutions to reduce the bureaucratic procedures that burden businesses and to strengthen the role of the blockchain in the traceability of food.
“Agriculture is one of the many areas in which the use of applied new technologies can generate a significant leap in the productivity and profitability of the sector. This is demonstrated by enterprises in Italy and worldwide that have optimised their working procedures thanks to the adoption of innovative processes”, stated TIM’s CEO Luigi Gubitosi. “Our Group, as shown by recent 5G testing on self-driving agricultural vehicles, has been engaged in offering services to support the supply chain, seeking to bring innovation also to rural areas. With this agreement, our goal is to bolster digitisation and speed up the transition through an increasingly cutting-edge agricultural model.”
“From kilometre zero online shopping to holidays with internet access even in the smallest villages of the country, the traceability of food from the field to the table using blockchains, to water saving and the use of chemicals in cultivation, and the reduction of bureaucracy that burdens businesses are just some of the new opportunities offered by this agreement,” stated Ettore Prandini, Chairman of Coldiretti, highlighting that “The serious delay accumulated in rural areas should be bridged so that all the potential of the new technologies can be put to the best use in the countryside: from drones that check the status of the cultivations while in flight to computerized surveillance systems for irrigation and fertilizers, from the use of technological traps against harmful parasites.
“Modern and sustainable agriculture, which creates added value for agricultural businesses and certified and traceable quality food for consumers places technology and innovation at the centre of all processes that are now essential in agro-industrial supply chains. The agro-industrial sector is now one of the most dynamic and modern sectors in terms of the application of new technologies, and a direct consequence of this aspect is to create new highly specialised employment in very different segments ranging from the analysis of satellite data to coding and the creation of new software,” stated Federico Vecchioni, CEO of Bonifiche Ferraresi Spa. “Today's agreement is in our view essential to bridge the gap with other countries with whom we compete, and it will be important to complete a further step towards the digitisation of Italian agriculture that sees the BF Spa Group with its company IBF Servizi, which now manages around 100,000 hectares at national level for agricultural enterprises of all sizes, committed to this work on a daily basis along with all its partners as well as Italian and international research centres and universities.”
Rome, 11 September 2020