Two farming lobby groups and a government agricultural advisory service have jointly set themselves up as an Internet service provider, to enable rural communities to get the latest farming information.
The Rural Business Network (RBN) has been set up by the Country Landowners Association, the National Farmers Union and the Agricultural Development Advisory Service (ADAS), which between them represent more than 100,000 farmers and rural businesses.
RBN chairman Hugh Oliver-Bellasis said the service will link farmers by email and enable them to share ideas and experiences. The network will also supply farmers with information and press releases from each of the three organisations and provide an Internet gateway.
A typical dairy farmer who subscribes to the RBN will receive information on milk marketing, financial services, quota management, land purchase and quota trading.?As the agricultural marketplace becomes more competitive, RBN subscribers will have facts and figures at their fingertips. Links with trading partners will enable them to make the best business decisions,? Oliver-Bellasis said.
Terry Bradfield,manager of the RBN, believes that the service will become an essential part of a farm or estate office and is expecting major food suppliers to also sign up.
At #285 a year, the RBN is very expensive for an ISP service, but Bradfield said the information that the service would provide to farmers was worth the price.
When asked about the type of hardware required by subscribers, a spokesperson said they would need "eight Rams".
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