Today over half of organisations in the agriculture sector have fully (22 per cent) or partially deployed (31 per cent) IIoT solutions – a figure that, on land, can only be beaten by organisations in the transport sector – and all respondents expect to have IIoT solutions in place by 2020. This uptake of IIoT places well over half of respondents in the progressive or leader categories in our IIoT adoption readiness tool.

How mature is the agriculture sector in relation to IIoT adoption? (%)

Laggards
Starters
Progressives
Leaders

How mature is the agriculture sector in relation to IIoT adoption? (%)

Laggards
Starters
Progressives
Leaders
77%

this IIoT will transform the agriculture sector

Respondents from across the agriculture spectrum are clearly enthusiastic about the potential that IIoT holds for their organisations. 77 per cent of respondents agree or strongly agree that it will revolutionise the industry, while 82 per cent think that IIoT will be essential for their organisation to gain an edge on the competition.

Despite this broad enthusiasm, some segments of the market are struggling to seize the opportunities posed by IIoT. Just 4 per cent of Latin American respondents reported that they had fully deployed IIoT-based solutions, significantly lower than the adoption rate seen in the total sample. There are a number of reasons for the limited progress seen in Latin America to date; chief among them, connectivity, with Latin American respondents twice as likely as the base to report encountering connectivity challenges.

IIOT ADOPTION AND PLANNED ADOPTION RATES (%)

Agriculture
Latin America

IIOT ADOPTION AND PLANNED ADOPTION RATES (%)

Agriculture
Latin America

As a sector that is coming under intense pressure to increase production and protect margins, it should come as little surprise that these factors are driving the adoption of IIoT in the sector. Half (50 per cent) reported that environmental monitoring (of soil and weather conditions) was a driver, 44 per cent identified the promise that IIoT holds for reducing operational costs, and 38 per cent sought to improve resource efficiency through the technology.

Smarter IIoT-enabled irrigation systems are just one area where all three of these drivers can be achieved. Just 20 per cent of agricultural land is irrigated today, accounting for 40 per cent of the food produced globally, and while the expansion of irrigation systems would see yields increase considerably, current techniques represent a desperate waste of water. Adding an extra layer of intelligence to these solutions with IIoT sensors mean that precious water reserves can be maximised, opening up the possibility for more farmers around the world to irrigate their crops and increase yields sustainably.

% OF ORGANISATIONS THAT HAVE ACHIEVED THEIR EXPECTED BENEFITS OF IIOT SOLUTIONS

Improved environmental sustainability
Greater automation
Reduced downtime
Better decision-making
More effective asset utilisation
Increased staff productivity
Improved health and safety
Reduced costs
Greater physical security
Greater supply chain insight

% OF ORGANISATIONS THAT HAVE ACHIEVED THEIR EXPECTED BENEFITS OF IIOT SOLUTIONS

Improved environmental sustainability
Greater automation
Reduced downtime
Better decision-making
More effective asset utilisation
Increased staff productivity
Improved health and safety
Reduced costs
Greater physical security
Greater supply chain insight
9%

have achieved greater insight into their supply chains to date, while 64 per cent believe this will happen in the future

However, some interesting differences emerge when we break the sample down by respondent type. Those from forestry were most interested in the potential that IIoT holds for opening up new revenue generation opportunities (52 per cent). Farmers were concerned with using IIoT to reduce resource efficiency and to reduce costs (both 46 per cent). OEMs on the other hand, driven by need from other parts of the agricultural sector, are prioritising using IIoT to bolster physical security and health and safety (both 50 per cent).

IIoT projects are starting to bear fruit and deliver the sort of changes that the sector needs to cope with the macroeconomic challenges it faces

Importantly, many respondents report that their IIoT projects are already starting to bear fruit and deliver the sort of changes that the sector needs to cope with the macroeconomic challenges it faces. 37 per cent report that IIoT has increased their environmental sustainability, 32 per cent have increased automation within their organisations, which in turn speeds up production and reduces the reliance on manual labour, and 30 per cent have achieved better decision making and less downtime as a consequence.

However, it’s worth noting that respondents aren’t yet reporting universal success rates in realising their objectives. Just 9 per cent state that they’ve achieved their objective of securing greater insight into their supply chains, while 64 per cent believe they will achieve this in the future. This is notable as the biggest disparity between what has been achieved so far and what agricultural respondents predict in the future. There is clearly momentum toward IIoT driving better supply chain insight in the agricultural sector, and with the right strategies and investment this prediction will revolutionise the industry.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE RESEARCH, DOWNLOAD THE REPORT - INDUSTRIAL IOT ON LAND AND AT SEA: AGRICULTURE

Press enter or esc to cancel