Over 484 farmers across 46 countries took part in the survey to share their needs, interests, and concerns regarding Smart Farming Technology.
DEMETER is a Horizon 2020 project which aims to facilitate and speed up the deployment of interoperable, data-driven, smart farming solutions providing decision support and control systems for the agricultural sector that empower farmers to make better decisions.
In the framework of this project, to better understand the drivers and barriers for farmers to adopt Smart Farming Technology (SFT) on their farms, a survey was conducted across November and December 2021.
The survey was created in consultation with several Farmers’ Organisations and Associations that are partners of the DEMETER consortium, such as the World Farmers’ Organisation, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), the Georgian Farmers’ Association (GFA), Coldiretti and the Romanian Maize Grower’s Association (APPR).
WFO members answered promptly & clearly to the survey.
In total, 484 responses were received from farmers across 46 countries.
Thanks to the report released, it is now possible to take a deep look into farmers’ needs, interests, and concerns regarding Smart Farming Technology (SFT) adoption.
The biggest drivers for farmers to adopt SFT were highlighted as 1.) to provide better information to manage the farm 2.) to simplify work and 3.) to increase profitability.
Speaking about the report, Kevin Doolin, DEMETER project coordinator, commented, “Farmers are a key stakeholder group for DEMETER. Understanding their needs, interests and concerns regarding Smart Farming Technology adoption is important. These findings are being used to sharpen DEMETER’s value proposition for those participating in the project and for a wider network of farmers and technology providers.”
For example, 48% of farmers who responded to the survey were already using SFT on the farm, with a further 37% indicating they will use SFT in the future; however, 15% doubt they will ever use SFT. As expected, farmers already using SFT have a much more positive attitude regarding the cost-benefit analysis of adoption than non-users.
The main barriers to adoption were revealed as:
- COST: 53% of respondents indicated that most SFTs are too expensive.
- DATA PRIVACY: 23% of respondents were concerned that third parties would gain ownership of their private data.
- LACKING RESOURCES: 22% indicated that they lacked the resources needed to allow them to adopt SFT.
Sustainability arose as a critical issue for farmers. According to the survey results, most farmers do not currently see clear environmental benefits associated with using SFT. However, they believe such technologies can improve their environmental impact and help them cope with climate change.
The findings from the report are being used to refine DEMETER’s offering to farmers and technology providers.