Unwillingness to adapt to digital world is holding agriculture sector back, report says

The connected human report by Libelium Agrifood Sector

The latest Connected Human Report sheds light on the potential of Agrifood production in the IoT age

Low adoption rates of connected technology in the primary sector and a lack of bespoke digital solutions are preventing the agrifood industry from reaching its full potential, according to a new report.

The Connected Human Report – Agrifood

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The Connected Human Report: The Future of Connected Agriculture brings together leading experts and academics to examine the state of digitalization in agriculture and how Internet of Things (IoT) technology could transform the sector to feed a growing population world and adapt to climate challenges, its two main challenges.

The UN projects that the world population will reach 9.7 billion by 2050, forcing world agricultural production to increase by 69% between 2010 and 2050. This requires the agri-food industry to apply smart solutions that increase the pace and quality of production to satisfy this population growth.

The connected human report by Libelium Agrifood Sector

Connected Human Report: The Future of Connected Agriculture draws on three leading agriculture experts

Following on from the last Connected Human Report into smart cities, this second report looks at the agricultural sector and how IoT could transform the way we produce, transport, and sell food.

Bringing together expert opinions from Alicia Asín (Libelium), Edward Porter (IMS Evolve) and Prof. Dr. Dionysis Bochtis (farmB Digital Agriculture), this report examines how mature the agri-food sector currently is in its use of connected technology, the challenges faced by those attempting to digitally-transform the industry, the importance of data in agriculture, and the next steps organisations in agri-food can take to realise the potential of IoT in this critical sector.

Alicia Asín

Professor Dr. Dionysis Bochtis

Edward Porter

Meet the IoT experts

  • Alicia Asin, founder and CEO of Spanish IoT specialists Libelium, has nearly two decades of experience in the IoT and smart cities sector. Alicia was the first woman to receive the National Young Entrepreneur at the 2014 meeting of the Spanish Confederation of Young Entrepreneurs, and is a regular speaker at smart cities conferences across the world, including at the World Economic Forum.
  • Professor Dr. Dionysis Bochtis is the founder of farmB Digital Agriculture and is an expert in agri-food technology. He works in the scientific area of Systems Engineering focusing on digital and robotic agricultural production, has written more than 120 journal articles, 11 books, and has directed more than 50 research projects in his roles at the University of Lincoln, the University of Aarhus and in the private sector.
  • Edward Porter is the Director of IoT Solutions at retail technology specialists IMS Evolve. He has more than two decades of experience in connected technologies across the cold chain, working with some of the world’s largest food retailers to enhance their IoT operation. He has also worked with the UK government on projects to digitize the cold chain from farm to supermarket.t.

Key insights and recommendations

➀ The agricultural sector is being particularly slow to adopt new digital technologies, and many professionals in the sector are still unaware of the benefits that IoT and other connected technologies can bring to their sector.

➁  While new technologies and robotics have begun to be used in agricultural practices, these tools are generally not connected and therefore the potential benefits are not appreciated.

➂  Overcoming data storage issues through common protocols and better inputs collection methods is key to unlocking a vastly improved database on which to build digital infrastructure.

➃  A combination of immediate international challenges, new regulatory guidelines, and tested and improved technology are creating the “perfect storm” for further digitization of the agricultural sector.

Alicia Asin, CEO and co-founder of Libelium, the company behind The Connected Human Report: The Future of Connected Agriculture, said: “We are proud of the result of this analysis that shows the potential of IoT in the agri-food sector. The report paints a picture of a sector in its digital infancy but once it unlocks its reluctance to go digital, not only companies but the whole world will benefit. If we use IoT in agriculture correctly, we can overcome many of the food challenges associated with a growing population and a changing climate.”

The Connected Human Report – Agrifood

Download it!


The Connected Human is a new series of whitepapers exploring how digitalisation will change the way we live our lives. Instead of merely connecting devices and sensors, IoT has the potential to connect entire industries and cities.

We will launch three reports that explain how IoT is changing the world according to our three families: Smart Cities, Agrifood and Sustainability.

Stay tuned to read them all.

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