Supported by France’s Orange 5G Labs, Orange Business is actively contributing to the 5G4AGRI collaborative project, which is spearheaded by La Chambre d’agriculture Pays de la Loire (Chamber of Agriculture in the Loire region) and enjoys the backing of a consortium comprising various companies, organizations, and academics. Their collective vision is to establish a platform dedicated to the collaborative development and evaluation of products and services that harness the capabilities of 5G within the agricultural sector, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the welfare of farmers.
Pays de la Loire Chamber of Agriculture experimented with 5G.
Line of Business
Benefits of 5G
- High bandwidth
- Network stability and robustness to avoid any risk of interruption or data loss
- Connection autonomy (no need to connect to a local fixed network)
An ambitious 3-year project
Launched in June 2021 and scheduled to run until December 2024, the 5G4AGRI collaborative platform includes two experimental farms:
- La Ferme des Établières in La Roche-sur-Yon (Vendée region), specializing in beef cattle and crop production.
- The Derval Farm (region of Nantes), focusing on dairy cattle production.
These agricultural spaces will be complemented by a collaborative innovation center and an active stable located at the Établières Group site. These facilities will soon provide startups and digital companies with opportunities to test and trial their innovative solutions in real-life agricultural conditions.
As a network operator and a digital solutions integrator through Orange 5G Lab, Orange Business was enthusiastic about supporting this collaborative experimentation project.
Trials that consider the potential benefits of future 5G technology
The 5G4AGRI Consortium comprises 10 partners, each deeply understanding the data value chain. Orange Business and its Labs bring expertise in 5G technology and insights into the future of 5G.
Smart agriculture: high-potential use cases
Upcoming experiments within the collaborative initiative will allow project stakeholders to thoroughly evaluate the tangible potential of 5G, encompassing financial considerations, through comparative analyses with existing connectivity systems.
This time-saving benefit could also contribute to improved pesticide management. Robots equipped with 5G connectivity in the near future might independently perform mechanical weeding, potentially reducing the reliance on pesticides, which currently represents a less efficient alternative.
Remote operation of robots in agricultural fields: a use case already tested in Senegal
A 5G-connected drone was deployed to fly over the entire area, assessing the ripeness and hydration levels of the crops in near-real time.
Based on this data, the drone operator could activate the automatic watering system on the ground with a simple click, depending on the fruit’s ripeness.
This advancement promises increased productivity and more judicious use of water and pesticides.
E-health: a significant advancement for livestock farmers thanks to 5G
The second relevant use case identified by the 5G4AGRI project consortium is veterinary teleconsultation, a significant asset for the agriculture sector. This remote service offers a tangible and effective solution to address the issue of veterinary scarcity in France. It also aligns well with the current health situation, considering the outbreaks of bird flu and swine flu affecting farms. Veterinarians are under immense pressure, having to travel extensively between farms.
Artificial intelligence for agricultural professionals
The final use case within the Consortium’s scope builds upon an initiative already underway within farm facilities.
Lucile Lefèvre is convinced that the combination of cameras and artificial intelligence will greatly benefit breeders, enabling them to address any challenges that may arise in their profession proactively.
The current challenge lies in ensuring these technological advancements are accessible to agricultural professionals.
The upcoming steering committee meeting for the 5G4AGRI collaborative project is scheduled for autumn 2023 at Orange 5G Lab in Rennes. During this meeting, the initial experiments in collaboration with the 5G Lab will be defined and subsequently tested on the 5G network provided by Orange.