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Barriers to adoption and extraction of value from agtech in the Australian livestock industry

Did you know methods that can increase the adoption of agriculture technologies have been identified to help deliver the greatest possible return on investment to industry?

Project start date: 29 May 2020
Project end date: 18 February 2021
Publication date: 24 February 2021
Livestock species: Sheep, Goat, Grain-fed Cattle, Grass-fed Cattle, Lamb
Relevant regions: National
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Summary

A series of five interrelated projects, known as the Integrity Systems Company (ISC) foundational projects, were commissioned to enable ISC to make more informed decisions on potential investments to develop next generation opportunities from the integrity system.

This project focused on the identification of potential barriers to the adoption of digital technologies and tools that enable real time traceability from birth through to slaughter and beyond.

The final report for this project outlines adoption strategies to overcome barriers to technology adoption and provides recommendations to ISC on the best approaches to achieve optimal returns from investment in technical advances.

Objectives

The main objectives of this project were to:

  • review, assess and analyse of barriers to adoption of future technologies
  • conduct stakeholder consultations to assist in identifying current barriers to adoption of digital technologies
  • provide recommendations on adoption measures that need to be taken into account to guide investment in research and development of digital technologies.

Key findings

Seven thematic areas affect the adoption of agtech technologies:

  • lack of an effective value proposition that addresses and effectively solves a customer's problem
  • data issues: data collection and storage, ownership, privacy and data quality
  • infrastructure: beyond the actual agtech itself, digital connectivity is often a challenge in rural areas where it is unavailable, slow, unreliable, and/or expensive
  • policy and regulation: intellectual property protection, safety standards for agtech, addressing constraints imposed by government and regulations to ensure proper use of the technology
  • skills: those needed by producers (and other actors along the supply chain) to understand and operate the technology, and/or local access to technological expertise and associated support services
  • social aspects: to gain adoption, trust needs to be earned between the agtech provider and the producer
  • technology: ease of adoption, interoperability with other agtech, useability, and the need for further supporting research and development can be barriers to adoption.

Benefits to industry

This project has produced recommendations on how to set up technology investments to deliver the greatest possible return to industry. Given the multitude of technology investments across ISC and MLA, this project contributes to overcoming current and future barriers to adoption of technology, as the recommendations are relevant across all on-farm technology portfolios.

MLA action

The recommendations from this project are being utilised to improve the setup of next stage investments, for example, conducting field trials and proof of concept for various integrity technologies.

Future research

To make a technology appealing to the widest audience, it is important to promote the capability of the technology, how it functions and how it can be incorporated into the farming operations of users. A clear value proposition needs to be articulated.

A clear and easily understood agreement on how data will be collected, stored, and used should be integral to the process of deploying the agtech. Data standards should be developed, published, and adopted to enable broad interoperability between applications and devices.

Whenever possible, applications should offer an off-line mode to circumvent the absence (or unreliability) of internet connectivity. A range of support services are required to facilitate widespread adoption of agtech. Consideration should be given to training (and accrediting) a network of support providers.

More information

Contact email: reports@mla.com.au
Primary researcher: Rural Analytics