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This wiki site is for all digital agriculture stakeholders - farmers, agriculturists, government workers, non-government organizations, farmer groups, technology and communication companies, application developers, etc. Stakeholders may contribute data, information, knowledge and wisdom; also their thoughts, reflections, ideas, sentiments, feedback and suggestions. This site is administered by Digital Agriculture Asia, an initiative of the Asian Partnership for the Development of Human Resources in the Rural Areas (AsiaDHRRA). Please consult the User's Guide for information on using this wiki software. Please email info.asiadhrra@digitalagriculture.asia if you may have any questions, clarifications, concerns, feedback or suggestions. Thank you!

What is Digital Agriculture?

(A.K.A. Agriculture 4.0, Smart farming, e-Agriculture, Smart agriculture)

"Digital agriculture is the seamless integration of digital technologies into crop and livestock management and other processes in agriculture. For farmers, digital agriculture offers the opportunity to increase production, save costs in the long-term and eliminate risk. Agricultural researchers see it as a data-gathering tool that has the ability to streamline data collection and analysis, enhancing predictive capabilities when it comes to crop management and animal behavior and production. For ag-tech companies, digital agriculture is the gift that keeps on giving as the industry drifts increasingly towards automation and use of digital technologies."[1]

"The ubiquity, portability and mobility of digital technologies are transforming agriculture and food production. Specifically, in the agriculture and food sector, the spread of mobile technologies, remote-sensing services and distributed computing are already improving smallholders’ access to information, inputs and markets, increasing production and productivity, streamlining supply chains and reducing operational costs. However, the ‘digitalization’ of agriculture and the food value chain has certain challenges to overcome. Issues such as cybersecurity and data protection, labour replacement and re-education and the risk of creating a digital divide between economies, sectors or individuals with differing abilities to adopt new technologies. Despite these points, there is no doubt that digital transformation in agriculture is here to stay. FAO is committed to assisting governments and partners in bridging such multidisciplinary digital divides to ensure that everyone benefits from the emerging digital society."[2]

"Digital agriculture has diverse meanings, origins and applications. Digital agriculture is about integration – the science of genomics and genetics, soil nutrition and crop science, meteorology and hydrology, software engineering, cyber-physical hardware design and manufacture, agribusiness and innovation in business models, finance and investment, supply chain logistics, market research and marketing. Effective digital agriculture should integrate the key elements of agriculture – the biological and biophysical, with the mechanical, the environment with people, investments with markets and producers with consumers.

The impact of digital agriculture should be productivity gains for low cost investments, upskilling rather than deskilling, increased production and quality for lower price, improvement in land as an asset, and increased sustainability of the farming enterprise through sustainable land and farm management practices.

Some of the key application areas of digital technology in agriculture include:

  • Farm system management
  • Genomics, genetics and crop science
  • Supply chains and markets
  • Financial, economic and biophysical data capture, integration and analytics.
  • Connectivity and coordination of devices, automated cyber-physical infrastructure, information, knowledge and strategy through the internet of things

As digital technology moves from novel to pervasive across an industry, as it has in social media, disruption will become the norm. Agriculture is yet to experience the full impact of digital technology and the pace of change being experienced in more technologically dependent industries such as biotechnology, aeronautics, mining, and advanced manufacturing.

Digital should be about connectedness, it should be about having better knowledge to predict outcomes, or at least increasing confidence that an outcome will occur. Digital is meant to free up time, energy, space to enable more innovative thinking."[3]

Getting started

Here are some quick readings on digital agriculture.

Here are some quick readings on the wider digital environment.

Key terms

  • Agriculture 4.0 - The First Industrial Revolution harnessed water and steam power; the Second tapped electric power; the Third used electronics and information technology, while the Fourth (Industry 4.0) built on the Third, characterized by a fusion of technologies, blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres, and giving birth to Agriculture 4.0. Agriculture 4.0 is essentially the digitalization of farm operations. For instance, the use of drones captures farm images and data in real time. This enables farmers to know which areas need water and pest and nutrient management, enabling the precise application of inputs by a fleet of agribots. Smart tractors with GPS-controlled steering perform accurate land preparation, significantly reducing costs. In livestock, sensors are attached to animals, allowing real-time monitoring of their overall well-being. Such data are stored in the farmer’s computer, serving as evidence for a digital platform of farm operations. Moreover, blockchain technology captures the whole process from the moment the crop is planted and harvested until it reaches the market, and is purchased by consumers as a raw or processed product—the origin identified through traceability.(Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 2022)
  • Digitalisation - Digitalisation refers to the adoption of information communication technologies, including the Internet, mobile technologies and devices, as well as data analytics, to improve the generation, collection, exchange, aggregation, combination, analysis, access, searchability and presentation of digital content, including for the development of services and applications (OECD 2022:5).
  • Smallholders and family farmers - Smallholders are small-scale farmers, pastoralists, forest keepers, fishers who manage areas varying from less than one hectare to 10 hectares. Smallholders are characterized by family-focused motives such as favouring the stability of the farm household system, using mainly family labour for production and using part of the produce for family consumption (FAO 2013).
  • Small-scale farmers - people who work on farms of less than 2 hectares of land (IFAD 2023).

Projects and initiatives

Ongoing Projects:

SEEDS - The Smallholder Economic Empowerment through Digital Solutions (SEEDS)] in the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam (December 2023 - November 2025)

Past Projects:

What's being done now

Knowing what's being done on digital agriculture - and where, and how - helps us acquire knowledge, evaluate what's doable, and what's not, in our respective contexts, and - at the very minimum - just pushes the boundaries of our imagination.

  • Digital extension services
  1. Access Agriculture
  2. Farmerline
  3. AgroCentra
  4. PlantVillage
  5. DigitalGreen
  6. WeFarm
  • Plant disease diagnosis
  1. LeafDoctor
  2. Genuity Rootworm Manager
  3. Precision Agriculture
  4. Plantix
  • On-farm decision making
  1. Africa Rice Center - deciding the optimum time to apply fertilizer given spatial and temporal variability of production
  • Animal management (health checks, feeding monitoring, quality control)
  1. VetAfrica
  2. Cowtribe
  3. Fall Armyworm Monitoring and Early Warning System
  4. iCow
  5. Jaguza
  • Trading (connecting inputs information to producers, connecting producers directly to buyers]
  1. Taobao online marketing platform
  • Mechanization
  1. TroTro Tractor (Ghana)
  2. EM3 (India)
  3. Trringo (India)
  4. Hello Tractor (Nigeria)
  5. Farm Friend (China)
  6. Tun Yat's tractor rental
  • Lowering Transport Costs
  1. Kenya Agricultural Commodity Exchange
  2. Zambian National Farmers' Union
  • Digitally-enabled collective action - aggregation of produce, bulk buying of inputs; exploiting network economies (connectedness due to digital devices); information dissemination - enhanced connection to members; digital aggregation
  1. M-Farm (Kenya)
  • Traceability - improving quality control in input and output markets (reducing information asymmetries - information being only one way - where buyers of inputs are not able to evaluate quality of fertilizers they buy since these inputs arrive in sacks and are just received with no critical ability to judge quality); applications that protect brands by tracing legitimate products thru real-time supply chain verification
  1. QualiTrace - applications allocate a unique number or code to each unit, which the customer can submit through a cell phone to an online platform where checks are done real-time.
  2. SourceTrace
  3. Sproxil
  4. Food Trust Consortium - uses Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) and Smart Contracts
  5. AgriDigital (Australia)
  6. Beef Ledger (Australia)
  7. National Agricultural Information System (Uruguay)
  • Agribusiness Digitization
  1. Koltiva
  2. CropIn
  3. Olam Farmer Information System
  4. GoPay
  5. Dana

Barriers, difficulties in adoption and/ appropriation by smallholders of digitalization in agriculture

Digital Agriculture by country

Cambodia
Philippines
Vietnam