A study by Cnr proposes to investigate this very issue and potentially to pinpoint the phenomenon of the “digital divide”, both in geographical terms and between the various sectors of the food and agriculture industry.

The title of the project is “FINe: the Food In the Net observatory” and it is being conducted by Registro .it in collaboration with the University of Pisa’s Department of Computer Science and with Infocamere.

The primary objective of the study is to create a “permanent Internet Observatory for the food and agriculture industry on the Net”, which would analyse the Internet presence of the various sectors within the food and agriculture industry and study their geographical distribution across Italy.

“Unfortunately, even though Internet use is now commonplace practically everywhere and we’re all now perpetually connected,” says Maurizio Martinelli, the project’s coordinator, “in many countries, including Italy, Internet culture and awareness of the advantages it can really offer is not as widespread. In Italy, out of the more than 10 million companies, only 12-13% have a .it domain.”

Using a system of web crawling and semantic content analysis that we have developed in-house, we have been able to classify the entire .it food and agriculture sector,” he concludes. “It has come out that, out of over 1,400,000 entities with a .it domain, there are over 100,000 websites in the food and agriculture sector. Of these, 38.52% are growers, 17.24% are agritourism sites, 10.94% advertise and sell wine, 7% pasta and 5.13% livestock. Oil represents the fairly small portion of 2.76%.

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