The new program aims to identify the connectivity needs of individual businesses, navigating the technology options and then offering a pathway of available solutions.
The initial work of the program includes the development of a connectivity hub through MLA’s website, giving producers a list of technology providers and an explanation of their services, and the opportunity to partner with MLA and specialist technology providers to carry out reviews of individual businesses’ connectivity requirements and identify a solution.
The scheme will also offer businesses the opportunity to engage R&D connectivity managers to identify and advise on connectivity solutions, as well as seeking feedback through a survey to better understand the connectivity needs and experiences of red meat producers.
Connecting the dots
MLA general manager – research, development & innovation Sean Starling said the program had been created to help producers identify their connectivity requirements and available solutions.
“We recognise that there are existing and ongoing infrastructure challenges for producers in accessing basic technology and services in rural areas, for which there is not a simple fix,” he said. “However, for many, simply navigating and understanding what technology is currently available and how best to implement that in your business is equally challenging.
“Not every producer and business has the same connectivity requirements. For some their needs are as simple as making a phone call or getting basic internet access in the paddock. For others, it can be about fully integrating your business or transferring data in real time across the supply chain. The starting point for producers therefore has to be, ‘What am I trying to connect and why?’
“We have identified three key areas of connectivity needs – the household, the paddock and the outside world – and how these are most effectively linked depending on your individual needs.
“We know there are range of different solutions already on the market that can address connectivity challenges, but there is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution,” he added. “This body of work aims to offer producers the guidance and expertise to help them identify their connectivity needs, implement a plan of action and identify a suitable service provider. Importantly, producers will share these learnings for broader industry adoption.”