Have you ever heard of, or even thought about, Smart Agriculture? Perhaps you have never heard of it or only know a little bit. Smart Farming is not a new concept. The idea of providing information to help increase the efficiency of farms while at the same time benefiting the farmer has been around for many years. But, many different approaches have been taken to try and make this concept work.
One of the most potent tools for agriculture is data. The direct impact of smart Farming is unlimited, as the technology allows farmers to improve more accurate monitoring and make smarter decisions based on the data collected from farm equipment. There is plenty of excitement, but agriculture is a significant industry, and as a result, there are many fears to be overcome.
Are Farmers Benefiting From IoT?
IoT has proven to be instrumental in the agriculture sector worldwide, as agriculture is becoming a knowledge-based industry. According to a report by Allied Market Research, the agriculture IoT market will grow at a CAGR of 15.10% to reach $71.98 billion by 2022.
Farmers are more innovative than ever with a host of technology to improve their productivity and quality of produce. Meanwhile, costs related to smart agriculture are increasing, and farmers are looking for ways to save money.
According to Rian Wanstreet, a writer for the motherboard, IoT vendors benefit more than farmers in implementing IoT for Smart Farming. Rian Wanstreet concluded that various end-user license agreements (EULAs) give the vendors control over IoT devices and data, which farmers rely on instead of the farmers themselves.
IoT devices collect farm data, but there is no clarity about who owns it. It is important to note that the American Farm Bureau’s Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data do not constitute legally binding legislation and may not be followed by all EULAs.
Ridiculous Subscription Packages
Some companies require ongoing subscriptions to utilise their services, while others use ‘turn-key to agree’ EULAs, whereby simply switching on the tractor ignition indicates agreement.
Farmers with limited funds are often tied by restrictive laws preventing them from repairing their equipment and mandatorily having to use the vendors’ repair services. Additionally, they often do not perform any compensation or even notify the farmers that their data will be reused, shared, or resold by vendors.
These restrictive rules have forced cash-strapped farmers to install illegal software on their machines to bypass security features. This can pose a severe threat to both the farmers and the vendors.
Will IoT Disrupt Our Food Supply?
There are complex questions surrounding the control and ownership of s valuable data, and no easy answers seem to exist. To prepare for disruptions, IoT vendors need to begin by taking steps to provide flexibility, mitigate risk, and build resiliency.