The annual economic impact of Mississippi agriculture is about $ 7 billion, but the state’s densest agricultural hub, the Mississippi Delta in 19 counties, lacks broadband infrastructure.
Broadband is defined as Internet access with download speeds in excess of 25 megabits / second and upload speeds of at least 3 megabits / second. Extension agricultural economists Bryan Mills and Devon Meadowcroft, based at the Mississippi State University Delta Research and Extension Center (Stoneville), have broadband access where many counties face limitations and high-speed internet shortages. We have compiled data showing how the lack of can cause significant disadvantages to producers.
Their study used Federal Communications Commission broadband data and US census demographics to study employment and population of farms without broadband access in each of the 82 counties of the state.
They found that about 27% of Mississippian cultures living in rural counties lack broadband access. Nearly 60% of the state’s approximately 3 million residents live in rural counties, accounting for 80% of the state’s non-broadband population. Based on the definition of USDA Economic Research Service, only 17 counties were classified as cities.
“Installing a broadband Internet requires a lot of infrastructure and upfront costs, and rural areas do not have the same investment as in populated areas,” Mills said. “The latest precision agriculture technologies, such as irrigation programs that allow you to see what the moisture sensor is doing remotely in real time, require a lot of data. If you don’t have access to the internet, growers will have this kind of information. You won’t be able to find it as quickly as you do, and you’ll lose potential benefits. “
Approximately 20% of the state’s population lacks broadband access, but Mills and Meadowcroft specifically investigated the Delta after finding a link between farm employment and lack of broadband access. .. However, many parts of southern Mississippi suffer from resource shortages as well.
Meadowcroft pointed out a prime example of this relationship in Issaquena County. In Issaquena County, farm employment is highest (37%) and broadband population is lowest (4%).
“It’s good for policy makers to see what the situation is like in Mississippi and find ways to allocate resources to fill that gap,” she said. “Many rural people, like people in the suburbs and big cities, need a reliable internet. Agriculture is important to the state’s economy and is one of the best ways we can support it. One is to find a way to provide producers with reliable internet access. “
Low broadband access hinders modern producers | National News
Source link Low broadband access hinders modern producers | National News