RuralDigiServ is an EARDF funded project aiming to improve the digital skills of farmers and the utilisation of digital solutions in their daily work.
RuralDigiserv is an EARDF funded project aiming to improve the digital skills of farmers. The project is administered and implemented by ProAgria, the national provider of advisory and development services for farmers. The project is piloted in region of Kainuu.
The relatively high availability of broadband in the rural regions of Finland makes enables farmers to utilize digital solutions in their daily work and development of their estate. However, the possibility is underused mainly because of lack of skills and knowledge of digital solutions. The RuralDigiServ project addresses this issue in following ways:
- Improving the skills of farmers and advisors in using the online digital services by training and providing experiences
- Providing advisory services through video conference tools
- Advicing the use of sensors, tracking devices and cloud platforms in farm management
The methods of implementation include trainings, workshops and piloting new products and online services. Some successful pilots include ph and moisture sensors for animal feed and use of drones in farm environment planning. Different platforms for digital advisory services have been tested and training has been provided during the project. 90 farms have been involved in the actions of the project.
Project budget for 2 years was 158 000 € and funded 80% from EARDF and 20% by ProAgria and beneficiary farmers.
Evidence of success
90 farms (out of 1100 in the region) have been activated through the project. 4 new products or methods have been created during the project. Use of existing online services such as advisory services through video conference tools, chat services and online booking systems have been tested and implemented . The digital skills of farmers have been improved through trainings and workshops in various themes.
Potential for learning or transfer
Inclusion of agricultural sector in the trend of digitalisation is important for the development and sustainability of the sector. The improvement of digital skills of the farmers through training and hands on experiences and piloting new technological solutions can improve the productivity and resource efficiency in the farms. The importance of the broadband infrastructure as well as the introduction of the digital services is also a policy level issue that must be addressed.