SAM Internet: e-applications for agricultural support in Sweden

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SAM Internet is an electronic application system for agricultural support within the Common Agricultural Policy. SAM Internet makes applications by farmers easier, swifter, safer and more entertaining. The majority of applications received by the authorities are almost error-free, and thus save time and resources. SAM Internet is based on how farmers think and can be used with limited Internet access capacity. Most farmers use it via dial-up connection. Approximately 55% of applications for agricultural support in Sweden are submitted electronically. SAM Internet recently received the GoldenLink Award as the best and most innovative eService within the whole Swedish public sector. 

Even though SAM Internet is used for applying for agricultural support, the service is not an electronic form. The service is based on the farmers way of thinking and acting. A logged in farmer sees a map of the farm, and can by clicking on the map indicate what is produced on each parcel and apply for support for each piece of land. The foundation of the service is the powerful map editor. This type of editing is usually done by experts in hard-to-use programs. Here, the farmer himself can do the job, without any previous knowledge and without having to install any new software. The service can be used even by users with limited bandwidth. Most of the farmers access SAM Internet via dial-up connection. Since the service is based on geographical data, and since the farmers themselves supply production data, SAM Internet can show each farmer what types of support he or she can apply for. The system also alerts farmers if they try to apply for a support scheme that is not available to them. A number of rules and control points are built into the system in order to avoid errors in the applications. SAM Internet gives farmers a complete overview of what data the authorities have received and also about for instance previous applications, payment entitlements and payments. The farmers can also access aerial photographs of their land through SAM Internet, and the system allows data exchange through xml with for instance crop production programs.

The partnership includes the Board of Agriculture and all the 21 County Administrative Boards.