FARMING POLL 2015: Farmers have faith in local maternity hospitals but rural broadband an issue

Three-quarters of those in the farming community have faith in their local maternity hospital, an Irish Examiner/ICMSA poll shows.

While 49% have strong faith in their local maternity service, one in five are undecided on the issue.

However, fewer than half of all farmers are happy with the level of broadband available to them in their area, according to the poll.

Asked if they were satisfied with the broadband service in their locality, just 28% agreed and a further 19% strongly agreed.

However, 20% strongly disagreed with the idea that their broadband service was satisfactory, while another 19% disagreed.

A further 13% were undecided on the issue. Tillage farmers are the most satisfied with their broadband with 70% in agreement.

Also, the older the respondent, the less likely they were to agree that their level of broadband was satisfactory, while location also played a role in satisfaction levels: 26% of those attending the Carbery show were happy with their broadband and just 28% in Athenry were satisfied, as opposed to the 60% of respondents attending the Tullamore show and 59% attending at Charleville that expressed satisfaction with their service.

Those with an off-farm in come were also slightly more likely to express satisfaction with the quality of their broadband (51%) than those working on the farm (43%).

The poll also shows the prominent role that mobile phone technology has in the running of a modern farm.

Responding to the statement “Mobile phone technology is critical to the profitable running of my farm”, 86% agreed and 60% of respondents strongly agreed.

This possibly reflects the more mobile nature of farming and also the growth in agriculture and farm-related smartphone apps, such as the popular Herdwatch app.

There was little variation across the demographics, although 68% of those aged 65 and over stressed the importance of mobile phone technology to their farm’s profitability, as opposed to 90% and above of respondents aged under 34 and up to age 54.

ICMSA president John Comer said differing attitudes towards issues such as broadband access and water charges illustrated that there was still an urban/rural divide.

“The question of local maternity services and access — or non-access — to broadband falls into exactly the same category [as water charges], where rural communities are made to feel they’re somehow whingeing if they ask for something resembling the same level and standard that people in Donnybrook or Douglas just take for granted,” he said.

More survey findings and analysis

Survey methodology

FARMING POLL 2015: Farmers counting the costs of the past year

FARMING POLL 2015 - DATA: Over half of hard-pressed households forced to work off-farm

FARMING POLL 2015 - DATA: Farmers call for repeal of abortion law

FARMING POLL 2015 - DATA: ‘Disgraceful reality’ of need for off-farm income

FARMING POLL 2015 - DATA: Farmers wait on economic recovery benefit

FARMING POLL 2015 - DATA: Mass still part of the fabric of farming life

FARMING POLL 2015 - DATA: 64% of farmers support a more liberal abortion regime

Rural attitudes - Abortion law is too strict, say farmers

VIDEO: Farmers talk of having to work outside farm to supplement income

FARMING POLL 2015: Over 50% of farmers say ‘enough refugees’

FARMING POLL 2015 - DATA: Enda Kenny still most popular party leader as Gerry Adams suffers

FARMING POLL 2015 - DATA: Farmers favour Fine Gael ahead of election — but Labour in trouble

FARMING POLL 2015 - DATA: Farmers believe Ireland is ready for a gay taoiseach

FARMING POLL 2015 - DATA: Four out of five farmers want the Government to scrap USC

More on this topic

VIDEO: Farmers talk of having to work outside farm to supplement incomeVIDEO: Farmers talk of having to work outside farm to supplement income


Lifestyle

Fiann Ó Nualláin follows in the footsteps of the Fianna as he explores a province’s hills and vales.Munster marvels: Plants that are unique to a province

Cupid must be something of a motoring enthusiast, as he had most definitely steered his way in the neighbourhood when Amie Gould and Shane O’Neill met at the Rally of the Lakes 12 years ago.Wedding of the Week: Cupid steers couple to right track

When it comes to podcasting, all it takes is one idea — and who knows where it can take you.Podcast Corner: Crimes and creatures rule at Cork’s first podcast fest

Claymation meets science fiction in this enchanting film, writes Esther McCarthy.Latest Shaun adventure is out of this world

More From The Irish Examiner