The digitalisation of agriculture

A literature review and emerging policy issues

Digitalisation offers the potential to help address the productivity, sustainability and resilience challenges facing agriculture. Evidence on the adoption and impacts of digital agriculture in OECD countries from national surveys and the literature indicates broad use of digital technologies in row crop farms, but less evidence is available on uptake for livestock and speciality crops. Common barriers to adoption include costs (up-front investment and recurring maintenance expenses), relevance and limited use cases, user-friendliness, high operator skill requirements, mistrust of algorithms, and technological risk. National governments have an important role in addressing bottlenecks to adoption, such as by ensuring better information about costs and benefits of various technologies (including intangible benefits such as quality of life improvements); investing in human capital; ensuring appropriate incentives for innovation; serving as knowledge brokers and facilitators of data-sharing to spur inclusive, secure and representative data ecosystems; and promoting competitive markets.

Published on April 13, 2022

In series:OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papersview more titles