Smart Skills for Farming Communities – Co. Tipperary
Selected as an exemplar case study by DCU in partnership with .IE
Funding awarded: €24,000
Tipperary County Council
Tipperary is the 6th largest county in Ireland in size and is predominantly rural in character. A landlocked county, the so-called Golden Vale in the southwest of the county is considered the best pasture land in Ireland. Farming is one of the oldest and most important economic activities in Tipperary. There are over 7,000 farms in the county and the second highest number of cows in Ireland. The abolition of the EU milk quota in 2015 presented Tipperary farmers with a significant opportunity to increase dairy production provided efficiency could be maximised within the farm gate to ensure a solid platform to drive future profits and expansion. Digital technologies hold the key for a smarter, more competitive and resource-efficient agricultural sector however a recent study by the Irish Farmers Association suggests that access to training is a significant barrier to digital technology adoption and use.
- The purpose of this project is to support the implementation of a new Digital Skills Training Programme in the use of new digital technologies in Irish agriculture in rural County Tipperary.
- To enable access to the use of digital technologies for smart farming in rural County Tipperary.
The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) is developing a Digital Skills Training Programme. The programme will support the production of a number of YouTube training videos on all aspects of Smart Agriculture IoT- (Internet of Things) based Network Solutions will be produced which will initially be shown and launched in the BCPs (Broadband Connection Points). The best way IoT can support dairy farmers in Tipperary is monitoring the health of cows. Sensors and other physical objects can be attached to the cows. These devices will collect data about the cow and allow the farmer to respond quickly if the cow is sick or injured. Training programmes will familiarise farmers with IoT so that they are comfortable to use this technology unaided.
The project was introduced to upskill farmers in rural Tipperary through Digital Skills training programmes. Farmers are often unable to use the newest (and even the older) digital technology. The new technologies will enable farmers to be competitive, sustainable and more efficient. With the right education, farmers in Tipperary will be able to use both older and newer digital technology.
Broadband Connection Points, Smart Agriculture IoT based network solutions and Youtube videos.
Written by Dr. Jennifer Kennedy, The Irish Institute of Digital Business, Dublin City University.