The world population is expected to reach almost 10 billion by 2050, meaning that we will have over two billion extra mouths to feed. Agriculture must therefore improve its ability to deliver the organic products needed for food, clothing, medicine and a raft of other products, while simultaneously mitigating the effects of climate change.

Encouragingly, the sector is rising to the challenge and is starting to leverage new technologies, such as IIoT, to help it meet the challenges ahead.

The overall IIoT readiness scores being reported in agriculture are broadly in line with those seen in the entire research sample. While it is notable that only a handful of respondents have yet earned a position in the leader category, all in the OEM sub-sector, the sector is laying the foundations of a smarter and more connected future.

22%

have fully adopted IIoT-based solutions

The Green Revolution

The industry represents a broad number of different segments, from large-scale farming (both crop production and livestock) and forestry, to the OEM and service industries that furnish the sector with consultancy services, seeds and machinery, and organisations charged with protecting the delicate balance between humanity and nature. Each of these groups have distinct reasons that are driving their use of IIoT and each face their own unique barriers to successful adoption, which we will unpack over the following pages.

What is the agriculture sector's overall IIoT readiness? (%)

Laggards
Starters
Leaders
Progressives

What is the agriculture sector's overall IIoT readiness? (%)

Laggards
Starters
Leaders
Progressives

Within the agriculture sector the enthusiasm for IIoT, and other next generation technologies, is undeniable, not least for their ability to protect often-slim margins by reducing operational costs (44 per cent), deploying resources like fertiliser and water more efficiently (38 per cent), and enabling businesses to become more sustainable (50 per cent). Precision farming techniques, sometimes called variable farming, are much improved through IIoT-based solutions. No two plots of land will be the same – soil types vary enormously, nutrient levels change and previous crop harvests alter the nature of the ground – meaning that IIoT can play a significant role in collecting data on the changing nature of the land. This information is hugely significant for farmers to understand the real time needs of their estates and increase crop yields.

Sowing the seeds of innovation

Although it is still relatively early days, IIoT projects in the sector are already starting to deliver their intended results and respondents are reporting improvements in their operational sustainability, productivity and asset utilisation, and it is IIoT data that sits at the heart of this transformation.

Agriculture has been slow to adapt to its new digital dependencies and security vulnerabilities

However, like every sector, skills and security challenges exist. Indeed, agriculture is an industry that appears to be struggling with security more than most, indicating that the sector is having a difficult time adapting to its new digital dependencies and vulnerabilities.

Connectivity is another challenge that must be resolved and the results indicate that many respondents, particularly those from Latin America, are struggling to access the connectivity they need to fully exploit IIoT. Given the remoteness of agricultural operations, connectivity is always going to be something to be navigated, though it is clear respondents that depend the most heavily on satellite are having the most success addressing the issue and reporting the most success from their IIoT initiatives.

IIoT an essential part of the future of the industry. However, successful deployments sit on a foundation of knowledge about how to use data, courage and openness to new innovation, and for the sector to think and act more in-step with other agriculture and supply chain businesses and share insights smoothly between organisations. This will make the agricultural supply chain become more effective. The sector is reaching for these elements, but as our report shows, it does have further to go on its journey before it can realise transformative success in IIoT.

36%

report that security challenges inhibit their use of IIoT data

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

RESEARCH DEMOGRAPHICS

The agriculture findings in this research project are based on responses from 125 senior IIoT decision-makers from a wide range of businesses with more than 500 employees in the sector. Respondents were drawn from large-scale farming and forestry business, and OEMs and service providers, and environmental monitoring businesses to provide a complete picture of IIoT progress in the the agriculture sector.

The research base included companies based in regions across the globe, though there was a particular focus on Latin America, Japan and the USA, enabling us to identify key differences in IIoT adoption between these territories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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