Internet connectivity has become vital to modern agriculture. Farmers and cooperatives across the EU have called on the European Commission to increase the penetration of broadband into rural and isolated farming areas.
One of the main objectives of Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is achieving a balanced territorial development through the rollout of fast and ultra-fast broadband in rural areas.
To close the digital gap between urban and rural areas, the Commission hopes to provide fast and ultra-fast broadband throughout the EU by 2020.
Europe has 13.7 million farmers and an average farm size of about 12 hectares but online connectivity for these rural and remote businesses varies greatly across the European Union.
In a survey conducted by the EU executive in 2015, young farmers in the bloc stated that missing or unreliable connections to the Internet is an important hindrance to obtaining information related to their sector.
The EU has several tools to finance broadband and ITC projects in rural areas by 2020.
Disclaimer: This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Sources: European Commission, Eurostat, NTIC AGRI CONSEIL, Ecorys in cooperation with LEI and Aequator Groen & Ruimte