Cookies on The Southern Star website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the The Southern Star website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does The Southern Star use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We dont sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message
  • Farming

Cork farmers to forefront of agri-tech revolution

Saturday, 13th January, 2018 7:10am
Cork farmers to forefront of agri-tech revolution

Involved in the SmartRural research project at Cork Institute of Technology are – from left – Mike Brady, agricultural consultant; Catherine Murphy and Miriam Adair, both CIT.

THE Department of Technology-Enhanced Learning at Cork Institute of Technology has designed an innovative programme aimed at farmers, their spouses or anyone indeed with an interest in agriculture and technology from those communities. 

The European-funded Erasmus+ research project, entitled SmartRural, is looking at how mobile applications can be used to enhance agricultural activities as well as improving productivity, social and economic activities in rural communities. 

Irish farmers are among the leading in the world in adopting SmartPhone technology, as agri technology is accelerating at a rapid pace, seeing innovations such as wearable technology for animals, dairy parlour technology and other automated systems; and all of these things can be managed and monitored using SmartPhone applications.  

Farmers are using mobile applications to enhance their working processes. Mike Brady, agricultural consultant, explains: ‘Productivity these days is key; apps like Done Deal for example are firmly putting farmers in the driving seat when it comes to buying and selling goods and services online. 

‘Other apps, such as Whatsapp, are extremely popular amongst the farming community allowing for new conversations, knowledge exchange, new farming videos, and new farming techniques to be exchanged.’ Catherine Murphy, project manager for the Smart Rural Project at CIT, believes that that the training in mobile devices and usage will open up many new useful applications for the farming community. ‘Our research shows that farmers are keen to avail of new technologies to support farm efficiency. The training course will support farmers who want to learn more about farming and related apps,’ said Ms Murphy. 

The project will see the rollout in 2018 of training programmes in France, Spain and Ireland to rural communities. Shane Cronin, lead e-learning designer at CIT, explains how the programme is designed: ‘Together with our colleagues in France and Spain, we have conducted a lot of research in this area. Our research is evidence-based and informs the course design where we look at logical themes including SmartPhone essentials, productivity, finance, and health and wellbeing.’  

The course uses a blended approach, combining online learning material with hands-on workshops, which take place at Cork Institute of Technology’s Department of Technology-Enhanced Learning. The training itself takes place from January 15th to 19th and the course also includes field trip to an agricultural technology facility in Cork.

• If you’re from the farming community and are interested in the project, go to, email: or phone: 021-4335920.

Stay up-to-date with the latest West Cork news with a Southern Star digital subscription on your phone, tablet or computer. Click here for more.