Viewpoint: How big data can end the scourge of fuel landering
We have been hearing about the 'power' of big data for a long time now from IT experts.
It all seems like remote theory, until we can see how its application can impact on our own lives.
A conference in Kilkenny last week on the use of IT in the agri-sector highlighted some of the possibilities that, when spelled out, seem like no-brainers.
The most obvious is the suggestion that we should ditch our out-of-date red diesel system in favour of new measures that combine all the information already being generated along the fuel supply chain.
The Irish system of putting a marker-dye into diesel to qualify it for tax relief when used off-road has become embarrassing in recent times.
Fuel laundering gangs in the Border region have been diverting an astonishing €150m a year from the National Exchequer.
More often than not, these illegal outfits are located in farm sheds, churning out millions in profits for the gangs.
The resultant diesel has destroyed many an engine, and the sludge from the process has polluted many a waterway.