As internet connections have spread to rural areas and smart devices have been introduced in the world’s largest agricultural market, many opportunities are opening up to use this technology for the benefit of farmers. According to online agriculture market place, the total value of the global digital agricultural market is expected to reach $ 10.2 billion by 2025. With the right combination of solutions, farmers can optimize their day-to-day operations and increase yields more or less hands-free.
But are they ready to adopt and use these technologies?
Most farmers are unaware of the benefits of these types of technologies – so the challenge for agrotech companies is not just to improve existing solutions, but to help farmers learn to use them.
Barriers to digital transformation in agriculture
- Although the lack of a strong internet connection and the high cost of adoption are often obstacles to adoption, they are by no means obstacles.
- Many of the solutions available are comprehensive. The online agri marketplace often provides more data than farmers are actually looking for, such as return on farm forecasts.
- The real problem is that there is a great correlation between farmers ‘experiences, the ambitions of entrepreneurs in digital agriculture and investors’ expectations.
Some areas lack good infrastructure
One of the biggest problems with the introduction of agricultural technology is the lack of functional infrastructure and limited internet coverage and connectivity. While developed countries are preparing for 5G, many developing regions – especially agricultural ones – do not have a wired Internet connection. This primarily requires more submarines and cables on the ground to ensure sufficient speed and short latency. In addition to physical transmission lines, there are also hardware and software systems, database servers and many other ancillary services that would never work without the Internet. In addition, almost half of households worldwide do not have a computer.
Most farmers are not digital natives
Most of the world’s population in extreme poverty lives in rural South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. A large 78% of livelihoods depend on agriculture.
This means that the adoption of agricultural machinery in the regions is one of the most sought after and needed. However, there is a serious problem that is holding back progress. Half of the farmers I talk to don’t even use smartphones, but call their friends on simpler devices to pick up things and find out where they sell them. Most farmers in developing regions were not born “connected”. For most of them, using a smartphone application is not intuitive, but complex and time consuming. As a result, it is difficult for them to understand how digital technology can be useful – which brings us to another major hurdle of implementation.
Farmers see no value in adopting other technologies
Once the farmer has mastered the technique, he will soon receive offers from other agricultural companies, which offer them many tools to implement. But sorting through tons of data collected on different platforms, with striking interfaces and so many options, can be a huge problem. No wonder farmers are refusing to accept these offers.