Kirona highlights the role technology can play with farm inspection efficiency in the Atos Digital Vision for Farming paper

By Laraine Geddes

Field service management solutions experts, Kirona have contributed to the Atos’ Digital Vision for Farming paper, highlighting the role mobile workforce management, dynamic scheduling and workflow management can play a part to improve the efficiency of farm inspections and reduce the burden on farmers. The article includes the outcomes of Kirona’s ongoing work with the UK Governments’ Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) as part of their Field Activity Programme.

Defra’s Field Activity programme was established to transform how inspectors operate in the field, improving customer service and the burden on compliant customers to create a resilient unified and flexible workforce. As part of the initiative, the Department is harnessing field service management technology from Kirona to improve site visits and job allocation for Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) inspectors, with real-time visibility and access to vital data in the field. Given the success to date, it is anticipated that by the end of the business year (March 2019), 23% of APHA’s field activity will be delivered using field service management technology.

The latest paper in the Digital Vision programme, Digital Vision for Farming explores how innovation must be leveraged to meet the Government’s policy goals in supporting the UK’s food, farming and environment industries. From adopting data analysis to improve crop yields and monitor wildlife to using automation to optimise farm machinery – with featured technologies ranging from blockchain to High Performance Computing – the paper includes contributions from subject matter experts outlining key challenges and the role of digital solutions.

Adrian Gregory, CEO, Atos UK&I, said: “For the farming and food industry, the digital revolution is well underway at a time of wider significant change. Just as they always have, farmers will adapt and innovate to meet complex financial, environmental and societal demands. This paper looks at the important contribution that digital transformation is making by empowering and enabling farmers, and the wider agricultural sector, to face the challenges and opportunities arising from Britain’s evolving landscape.”

The Digital Vision for Farming opinion paper also examines how digital technology can be implemented to benefit crop husbandry and animal health, improve the efficiency and transparency of supply chains and minimise disruption from inspections, leading to improved competitiveness and better outcomes for farmers, consumers and the environment.

George Eustice MP, Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, said: “Advances in technology will help us to achieve the ambitions set out in our Agriculture Bill to farm more productively in a way that protects and enhances the environment.”

“Data-sharing powers in the Bill will improve transparency in the supply chain, helping food producers strengthen their negotiating position at the farm gate and get a better deal in the marketplace.

“Meanwhile, we are developing the Livestock Information Programme to modernise livestock traceability and looking to technology to simplify farm inspections.”

Stephan Rees-Pedlar, Head of Strategic Design for DEFR’s Field Activity Programme will at the Mobile Working in the Public Sector event on 17th October 2018 presenting; “Exploring Defra’s Service Management Tool to Facilitate Field Inspections”. Find out more about this event: https://mobilepublicsector.co.uk/