Telefónica is bringing its IoT and data analysis technologies to agricultural development projects through a new partnership with a United Nations agency.

The three-year agreement will see the Spain-based operator working with the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) across several projects in the agricultural sector, with the goal of optimising processes and establishing more efficient systems.

A pilot in El Salvador and Colombia will see Telefónica providing specialised hardware, cloud storage, data processing capabilities and self-generated recommendations to local farmers to help them make decisions on water management.

The plan is to introduce the project, which makes use of AI algorithms developed by the Telefónica Chile Research and Development Centre, to other areas of Central America.

Another project analyses how climate change affects population movements by combining Telefónica’s aggregated data from its mobile networks with meteorology information from the FAO.

The partnership see FAO’s Digital Education and Skills Development tools being hosted on Telefónica’s digital training platform Miríadax.

Vicente Muñoz, Chief IoT Officer at Telefónica, said: "The Internet of Things is an enabler of digital transformation that is already starting to change the landscape of global agriculture.

“By taking advantage of this new technology’s benefits, we are aiding in the development of societies and favouring less use of, and greater access to, resources such as water.”

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