NFU Scotland is asking its members to fill out its inaugural connectivity survey, to help lobby for improved mobile and broadband connectivity for farmers and crofters.

Farming, crofting and diversified agri-businesses rely on fast, reliable internet access and dependable mobile signal, yet NFU Scotland understands that many businesses are being held back due to poor connections.

NFU Scotland believes that with so many services being forced to move onto an online platform, Covid-19 has exacerbated issues with digital access and has amplified social, economic and technological exclusion of agricultural businesses.

Therefore, NFU Scotland is conducting a survey, which closes on Monday, January 4, 2021, to get a true picture of the problems that members across Scotland are facing in regards to their mobile and broadband connection, the impact it has on their business, and the barriers to improvement .

The survey is available to complete online, but for those who may be unable or would prefer to complete an offline copy, a copy can be requested from the NFU.

Members who participate can also opt into a prize draw to receive a hamper of Scottish produce.

‘Strong, reliable, and affordable broadband’

Tom French, Chair of Legal and Technical Committee, said:

“Farmers and crofters need access to strong, reliable and affordable broadband and mobile service for their businesses.

We have seen during the pandemic the amount of services which went online, including participating in livestock sales at auction marts, attending local NFU Scotland meetings or educational webinars, or simply keeping in touch with friends and family and heard the number of agricultural businesses which were limited or excluded from engaging in these digital events.

“Agriculture will play a vital role in the Green Recovery from Covid-19.

“Access to reliable broadband will be key in supporting the sector to adopt new technology and adapt to new ways of working, which is why we need to see improved digital connectivity across rural Scotland.

“With a strong response to this survey the Union will be well placed to lobby government for improved connectivity throughout rural Scotland,” he concluded.