The lack of safe access to Brazil in rural areas is an increasingly critical issue for its farmers, as more agricultural equipment coming into the market is built to be updated online to work with full capacity.
A 2017 US Department of Agriculture report said that “Less than 10% of Brazilian farms have internet, according to an estimate by Tim Participações, the local arm of Telecom Italia Spa. As a comparison, over 70% of US farmers have broadband internet access ”
“This is a structural issue we have in Brazil that we need to solve,” said Christian Gonzalez, vice president of South America, for Case IH, sharing CNH Industrial NV’s agricultural machineries.
He noted that modern equipment such as harvesters and planters can be adjusted in real time while operating – making them more efficient.
The US equipment maker John Deere was one of the first to try to address this problem last year when he joined Tropico’s telecom provider to provide a rural service in Brazil, offering LET antenna installation at the farm to provide connectivity the internet with cars and tools.
Other companies are trying the same approach, including Brazilian telecom companies Oi and Tim.
Tim teamed up with suppliers of agricultural products like Agco Corp, Case, Bayer and Trimble to develop an open source platform to operate the 4G Internet connection, the ConectarAgro program.
Rafael Marquez, marketing director at Tim, who signed a contract to provide 4G internet in two major agricultural groups in Brazil, SLC Agrícola SA and Adecoagro SA said, “Internet shortage undoubtedly puts Brazilian farmers in a complicated position , can harm their competitiveness by going forward. ”
Marques said that “Farmer wants to use applications on the field, he wants to send a video to his agronomist when he sees a potential problem … they want to be online”.
Tim appears to reach 5 million hectares of farms covered by the internet by the end of the year. Brazil has about 65 million hectares under cultivation.
Tim Oi’s rival closed an agreement to provide the Internet to one of the farms managed by the soybean producer and the AMAZ trader. It will bring internet to the Tucanaré farm 87,000 hectares in the state of Mato Grosso./Investing.com