Smart Farming in Italian agriculture: essays on adoption and diffusion dynamics shaping the agricultural digital transition

Giua, Carlo (2022) Smart Farming in Italian agriculture: essays on adoption and diffusion dynamics shaping the agricultural digital transition, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari, 34 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10379.
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Smart Farming Technologies (SFT) is a term used to define the set of digital technologies able not only to control and manage the farm system, but also to connect it to the many disruptive digital applications posed at multiple links along the value chain. The adoption of SFT has been so far limited, with significant differences at country-levels and among different types of farms and farmers. The objective of this thesis is to analyze what factors contributes to shape the agricultural digital transition and to assess its potential impacts in the Italian agri-food system. Specifically, this overall research objective is approached under three different perspectives. Firstly, we carry out a review of the literature that focuses on the determinants of adoption of farm-level Management Information Systems (MIS), namely the most adopted smart farming solutions in Italy. Secondly, we run an empirical analysis on what factors are currently shaping the adoption of SFT in Italy. In doing so, we focus on the multi-process and multi-faceted aspects of the adoption, by overcoming the one-off binary approach often used to study adoption decisions. Finally, we adopt a forward-looking perspective to investigate what the socio-ethical implications of a diffused use of SFT might be. On the one hand, our results indicate that bigger, more structured farms with higher levels of commercial integration along the agri-food supply chain are those more likely to be early adopters. On the other hand, they highlight the need for the institutional and organizational environment around farms to more effectively support farmers in the digital transition. Moreover, the role of several other actors and actions are discussed and analyzed, by highlighting the key role of specific agri-food stakeholders and ad-hoc policies, with the aim to propose a clearer path towards an efficient, fair and inclusive digitalization of the agrifood sector.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Giua, Carlo
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Smart farming, Digital transition, Farm management information systems, Adoption, Diffusion of innovation, Digital divide, Innovation diffusion, UTAUT, Chain governance structures, RRI
Data di discussione
16 Giugno 2022

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