Nokia, TIM join agri-tech alliance to bring automation and intel to farmers in Brazil
Finnish vendor Nokia and Italian operator Telecom Italia have joined with six international agri-tech firms on a smart agriculture initiative, ConectarAGRO, that seeks to bring connectivity, automation and intelligence to 93 per cent of Brazilian farmers.
The Brazilian arm of Telecom Italia (TIM Brasil) will deploy Nokia kit, including 4G/LTE and 5G products, as well as satellite and microwave technologies, to provide cellular coverage, to bring straight connectvity, as well as suport for IoT services and other precision agricultural technologies.
Nokia and TIM are joined in the ConectarAGRO group by UK-based capital goods firm CNH Industrial, US agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO Corporation, German pharmaceutical company Bayer, Brazilian precision agriculture equipment firm Máquinas Agrícolas Jacto, Brazilian agri-tech provider Solinftec, and US industrial mapping provider Trimble.
ConectarAGRO will bring connectivity to 93 per cent of Brazilian farmers. Less than seven per cent of Brazil’s farm land is currently served by wireless broadband coverage. The initiative will enable 500,000 Brazilian farms to connect their farm machinery, deploy robots and sensors, and make use of precision mapping.
This will boost farm yields for soybeans, cotton, corn, and sugar cane, among other crops. It will also reduce fuel consumption, insecticides, and water for irrigation. In 2017, farming contributed 23.5 per cent of Brazilian gross domestic product (GDP), and accounted for nearly 80 per cent of GDP growth.
The ConectarAGRO initiative aims to stimulate further growth.
Gregory Riordan, director of digital technologies for CNH Industrial South America, said: “Brazil already has some of the most advanced farmers on the planet that use state-of-the-art technologies and management practices. However, reaching the next level of productivity is impossible without connectivity. We are eager to collaborate to find innovative solutions, especially for farmers in underserved areas.
“The agricultural sector is a key contributor to Brazil’s economy and we are proud to have joined with the other members of the ConectarAGRO initiative to serve and enhance Brazilian Agriculture.”
Rafael Marquez, corporate marketing director at TIM Brazil, said: “This initiative connects machines and people. On the business side it drives productivity, efficiency and economic growth. On the social side it has the potential to change millions of lives, providing voice and internet connectivity, enabling access to education, entertainment and public services.”
Nokia said the deal complements its work in the broad IoT space. Its recent launch of prepackaged vertical solutions, to simplify IoT deployments, included solutions for agriculture and livestock management. These solutions are offered on Nokia’s Worldwide IoT Network Grid (WING), which is Nokia said is gaining traction across South America.
Luiz Tonisi, head of Nokia’s market unit in Brazil, said: “The ConectarAGRO initiative provides an industry-coordinated approach to facilitate the development of these precision agricultural technologies for Brazil’s farmers. This open approach will help to spur innovation by creating an ecosystem of companies that can support the digital transformation of the Brazilian agricultural sector. The Nokia team is very pleased to help realize Agriculture 4.0 for Brazil’s farmers.”
Nokia said it plans to expand its activities to other rural areas in Latin American and worldwide. Nokia claims to deployed over 1,000 “mission-critical networks” with customers in the transport, energy, large enterprise, manufacturing, webscale and public sectors.