Vodafone Australia has called on policy makers to remove barriers to the adoption of IoT in the agriculture sector.

Speaking at an event at Parliament House in Canberra, CEO Inaki Berroeta said that any remnants of a digital divide in rural areas needed to be fixed to ensure farmers could take advantage of new technology.

He said that Vodafone is partnering with the National Farmers’ Federation “to work closely with farmers, agribusinesses and consumers to capture the opportunities for mobile technology to drive agricultural productivity, and to help bridge the digital divide.”

Berroeta also sought “bi-partisan support” for a proposal to redirect public funding used by Telstra to maintain the copper network into “delivering 21st century telecommunications in regional Australia”, offering farmers “improved coverage and [a] choice of provider”.

“Agriculture is one of the areas where Machine to Machine (M2M/IoT) technology can make the biggest differences, but changes are needed to ensure farmers don’t miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of advances in technology,” Berroeta said.

“M2M can enable farmers to work smarter and faster, such as remotely monitor and adjust soil moisture levels, or receive live updates from the paddock on their tablets.“