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This paper intends to explore the development of agriculture in to smart farming and how smart farming can contribute to the sustainable development goals. The paper focuses on how smart farming can be imparted in sustainable agriculture by analyzing the environmental, economic and social impact. This paper applied a systematic literature review technique to assess published academic literature on smart farming and sustainable agriculture in Southeast Asia. The review identified that smart farming can lead to less environmental damage, lower cost and higher productivity and has the potential to create decent jobs for the youth ultimately leading to a sustainable food system.
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DOI: 10.4018/IJABIM.20220701.oa5
Volume 13 • Issue 2 • July-December 2022
This article published as an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and production in any medium,
provided the author of the original work and original publication source are properly credited.
*Corresponding Author
Siti Fatimahwati Pehin Dato Musa, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei
Khairul Hidayatullah Basir, Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali, Brunei
Edna Luah, AgroBIZ, Brunei & LiveWIRE Brunei, Brunei
This paper intends to explore the development of agriculture into smart farming and how smart farming
can contribute to the sustainable development goals. The paper focuses on how smart farming can
be imparted in sustainable agriculture by analyzing the environmental, economic, and social impact.
This paper applied a systematic literature review technique to assess published academic literature on
smart farming and sustainable agriculture in Southeast Asia. The review identified that smart farming
can lead to less environmental damage, lower cost, and higher productivity and has the potential to
create decent jobs for the youth, ultimately leading to a sustainable food system.
Agritech, ASEAN, Food Security, Internet of Things (IoT), Precision Agriculture, Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs), Sustainable Intensification, Systematic Literature Review
Food security has always been a challenge in the Southeast Asia region. According to Marzęda-
Młynarska (2017), this is due to the growing population, challenging environmental conditions, risks
of climate change, and rapid urbanisation. The definition of food security has evolved; in 2002, it was
redefined as a situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic
access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for
an active and healthy life (FAO, 2002).
The current pandemic of COVID-19 has resulted in a new dimension of food (in)security i.e.
the disruption of supply and demand. This is mainly due to the lockdown of several major cities,
border closures, and job or income losses. This has disrupted the food supply chain and affected the
status of food security in many countries. COVID-19 has resulted in an abrupt change in the world’s
food consumption and production patterns which is a reflection that nature has a limited capacity to
meet human needs. Human activities have been responsible for the crossover of zoonotic diseases
like SARS, MERS and COVID-19. The hunting and handling of wild animals for the exotic food
market has presented the opportunity for cross-species transmission of infectious diseases. Episodes
of avian flu (H5N1) and swine flu (H1N1) outbreaks originating from densely packed farms of hybrid
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livestock have also shown that modern farming practices have shaped our disease ecology (Wallace,
2016). Suffice to say, humanity’s increasingly exorbitant consumption patterns have contributed to this
instability. To prevent another pandemic that is as damaging as or worse than the one presently raging,
the world urgently needs to prioritize more sustainable patterns of food production and consumption.
Sustainability has been discussed globally through the concept of sustainable development. The
World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) defines sustainable development as
‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations
to meet their own needs” (United Nations, 1987). Having a sustainable approach is considered an
important goal today due to the fast population growth whereby the world’s population is expected
to reach nearly 10 billion which is an increase by more than 30% by 2050 (from 7 billion in 2011)
(FAO, 2017). This puts a strain on the world’s agricultural resources especially on the land as higher
yields are expected without considering the damage to the environment (Gil, et al., 2019). These trends
threaten the sustainability of agricultural systems and undermine the global capacity to meet its needs.
To ensure enough food is produced for a population of nearly 10 billion by 2050 without critically
degrading natural resources, a transition to a smart and sustainable agricultural system is needed.
In a way, the pandemic also provides farmers and researchers the opportunity to reconsider
their current approaches to agriculture and reinvent farming using greener techniques. The agritech
scene in Southeast Asia is still in its early stages and just starting to expand; it is helping farmers
to implement more resilient, productive and sustainable agricultural practices. However, regulatory
hurdles and a digital divide especially in developing countries have stood in the way of the smooth
adoption of smart farming methods. It is possible that this pandemic may become the catalyst that
sets in motion smart farming in Southeast Asia.
Incidentally, COVID-19: the biggest crisis of this century has coincided with the Fourth Industrial
Revolution (4IR) whereby new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data, Blockchain
and the Internet of Things (IoT) among others have altered the way in which people live, work and
interact. Likewise, these new technologies also have the power to transform the food supply chain
for the better as can be seen from trials and implementations abroad.
The objectives of this paper are twofold. First, it attempts to explore the changing global trend
in agriculture which involves digital transformation in line with the industrial revolution. Secondly,
this paper attempts to convince that smart farming could be the answer to sustainable food production
and contribute towards achieving a number of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
This paper applies systematic literature review in an attempt to seek out the existing knowledge and
research gaps on the subject matter. The five steps of conducting a systematic literature review put
forward by Zimmerman et al. (2016) was used. The five steps are as follows: (1) formulating review
questions, (2) searching for materials, (3) evaluating and selecting, (4) analysing and synthesising,
and (5) reporting review results.
The research question of this study is how can smart farming be incorporated in to sustainable
agriculture and contribute towards the 2.4.1 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Indicator? To
identify a relevant set of articles concerning the research questions, criterion sampling based on
keyword searches was applied. A number of keyword combinations were used to search for the articles
from leading databases like Web of Science and Scopus. The search terms included smart farming,
agritech, precision farming, information and communication technology (ICT) based farming and
ASEAN and Southeast Asia, sustainable agriculture and sustainable development goals.
The database search resulted in 109 articles in the social science criteria. Articles that solely
focused on technical issues or did not report results of empirical studies were excluded. This abstract
screening resulted in a total of 13 relevant articles, which were subsequently analysed with respect to
sustainability and smart farming in Southeast Asia. Due to the limited number of relevant articles, an
Volume 13 • Issue 2 • July-December 2022
extensive desk research was conducted which includes reports and other grey literatures to do with
smart farming in Southeast Asia.
After evaluating and selecting the most suitable articles and reports for review, the next step is to
analyse and synthesise the selected materials. The aim of the analysis stage is to assess and analyse
the selected paper independently and synthesise the evidence of the intended factors (smart farming
and sustainable agriculture) (Denyer and Tranfield, 2009). Following closer analysis, the articles
were then categorized based on the research questions to create a structure for this review. This
review forms the basis for the conclusion of this research and its recommendations for addressing
the current gaps in knowledge.
The urgency to achieve food security has always been whether or not we could feed the 9 billion of
the world population. Malthus in his work on Population: The First Essay (Arbor, 1957) highlighted
that population grows geometrically the output of food grows arithmetically which will inevitably
result in the scarcity of food. Most of the literatures in smart farming are technical and explains the
importance of technology in food production. Literatures on smart farming in the social sciences are
still lacking especially on the impact of digital transformation in agriculture on farmers and society.
For instance, Santiteerakul et al. (2020) investigated how technology applications could help farmers
to utilize appropriate data in their decision-making which can lead to the use of low-input agriculture.
Walter et al. (2017) studied technical improvement through the use of ICT in agriculture including
the challenges of property rights on the owner and use of data. Further, Klerkx et al. (2019) in his
review of social science literatures on digital agriculture, smart farming and agriculture 4.0 and
suggested that one of the emerging cluster which needs to be given more emphasis is digitally enabled
agricultural transition pathways.
As technology is embedded in the agricultural sector, this raised a question of whether agriculture
is still regarded as a traditional sector. Advanced countries like Japan and The Netherlands have utilized
technology in their farming which is in line with the fourth industrial revolution which coincidentally
supports the SDGs, particularly the 9th SDG to ‘build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and
sustainable industrialization and foster innovation’. Thus, this link needs to be explored especially
its potential to meet the global demand and for countries to be self-sufficient especially when there
is unprecedented crisis, for instance the COVID-19 pandemic.
The digital transformation is exciting and fast-moving including agriculture. Walter et al. (2017)
suggested that agriculture is undergoing a fourth revolution as a result of the exponentially increasing
use of ICT in agriculture. The fourth industrial revolution is a popular term and remains a growing
interest in many countries. However, agricultural revolution is yet to be explored. As agriculture is
undergoing a new technology revolution, it should not be overlooked. The summary of agricultural
revolution can be seen in Table 1.
From the table above, it can be seen the transition of farming from traditional to the use of latest
and advanced technologies. Undeniably, technology has changed the practice in agriculture, making
the food and agricultural systems more productive, profitable and sustainable.
Farming with the use of new technologies has always been associated with smart farming.
Pivoto et al. (2018) explained smart farming as the incorporation of information and communication
technologies into machinery, equipment, and sensors for use in agricultural production systems.
Sensors plays an important tool in Smart Farming. In addition, Fountas et al. (2015) claimed that
smart farming will help to reduce the impacts of climate change by keeping them constant or reduce
production costs in agricultural activities and minimize environmental constraints. The emergence
of smart farming is due to the rapid development of Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing
(Sundmaeker et al., 2016). New technologies such as the IoT and cloud computing are expected to
advance this development, introducing more robots and artificial intelligence into farming (Pivoto et
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al., 2019). The term of agritech is also exchangeably used which refers to the use of technology and
technological innovation to improve the efficiency and output of agriculture.
The United Nations SDG includes the promotion of sustainable agriculture in goal 2: zero hunger –
end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Now,
more than ever, with scarce natural resources depleting, inevitable consequences of climate change
and growing global population, agriculture must be sustainable to ensure achievement of SDG 2
and enough food for all in the future (United Nations, 2020). Due to the environmental stress on
water scarcities, insufficient land use, soil depletion, and greenhouse gas emissions, the demands
on sustainable agriculture are rapidly increasing (Santiteerakul, et al., 2020). The term “sustainable
agriculture” refers to an agricultural system that will continue to be productive in the future (Feenstra,
2020). The main objectives of sustainable agriculture are to incorporate a healthy environment,
economic profitability, and social and economic equity into the production process (FAO, 2019). The
indicators of sustainable agriculture provided by the United Nation SDGs called the SDG Indicator
2.4.1 are measured in three different perspectives; economic, environmental and social terms. The
economic perspective includes land productivity, profits and resilience; environmental in terms
of soil profile, water usage, fertilizer and pesticide usage and biodiversity; and social in terms of
employment opportunities, food security and land tenure (FAO, 2019). Indicator 2.4.1 reflects the
multiple dimensions of sustainability: economic, environmental and social. A set of 11 sub-indicators
are defined, organised in themes, each mapped to one of the three dimensions as shown in table 2.
The next section discusses how smart farming can be imparted as part of sustainable agriculture.
This is done by analysing the environmental, economic and social impact of smart farming in
Southeast Asia.
Many current farming practices damage the environment and are a major source (19–29%) of
anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide
(Campbell, et al., 2014). Smart farming comes with so many opportunities with the aim of reducing
ecological footprint.
In tackling environmental issues in agriculture, precision agriculture (PA) can help in managing
crop production inputs in an environmentally friendly way. There are various definitions of precision
agriculture. Kubota Corporation (2020) defined precision agriculture as a farm operation technique
aimed at minimizing costs for fertilizers, chemicals, water, and fuel and maximizing yields by utilizing
Table 1. Agricultural Revolution
The first agricultural revolution Occurred when humans started farming around 12,000 years ago.
The second agricultural revolution The reorganisation of farmland from the 17th century onwards that followed
the end of feudalism in Europe.
The third agricultural revolution
(also known as the green revolution)
The introduction of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and new high-yield crop
breeds alongside heavy machinery in the 1950s and 1960s.
The fourth agricultural revolution
(much like the fourth industrial
The anticipated changes from new technologies, particularly the use of
Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make smarter planning decisions and power
autonomous robots. Such intelligent machines could be used for growing and
picking crops, weeding, milking livestock and distributing agrochemicals via
Source: Rose and Chivers (2020)
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data. It also aims to improve the taste and quality of agricultural products, ensure traceability, hand
down knowhow, and reduce heavy labor. For instance, The Netherlands is another small and densely
populated country known for advanced initiatives in precision farming and it is the second largest
exporter of agricultural produce after the U.S (Viviano, 2017). The Netherlands has become the
world leader in agricultural innovation, pioneering new paths to fight hunger. PA is bringing the most
modern technology, like never seen before in agricultural fields. A combination of techniques can
assess the quality of individual plants and determine exactly how much water and nutrients they need
to receive. Some agritech farms implemented by the Netherlands are as follows: i) climate-controlled
farms which grow crops around the clock and in every kind of weather; ii) developing technology
to maximize poultry production while ensuring humane conditions; and iii) indoor LED-light crops
(Viviano, 2017).
Singapore demonstrates a good example in its efforts to embrace smart farming and agritech.
Singapore is a small and densely populated with lack of natural resources with less than 1 per cent
of its land dedicated to agriculture, thus most of their food are imported. Singapore has come up
with technological innovations and ingenious new agricultural methods in its effort to become
Asia’s urban agri-food tech hub. Among the technology imparted in agriculture in Singapore are
(i) IoT data analytics which farms to control environmental conditions such as light and irrigation
to track temperature, humidity, and the growth of crops; (ii) Automated systems such as auto-
feeders; automated pump systems and shed-cleaning bots reduce the need for manual labour and (ii)
Hydroponics system eliminating the need for pesticides and fertilisers, while optimising the nutritional
value of harvested plants (Ai Kok, 2020).
Thailand has also implemented technology use of multiple sources for farming efficiency. This
was not just for generating the highest optimum yield with the least amount of resources but also
incorporating conscious use of smart technologies to generate lesser carbon footprint with biomass
conversion technologies such as the implementation of solar energy, biomass energy and greenhouse
dryers (Mastoi, et al., 2014). This is in-line with the commitment of net-zero gas emissions efforts by
the year 2050 by the International Energy Agency, whereby the National Energy Policy Commission
of Thailand has pledged in 2013 to support solar installations by the following year (International
Energy Agency, 2018).
Wangree Health Factory Company in Thailand uses modern digital technology to supply fresh
organic vegetables and fruits to the Thai market. It uses artificial intelligence light for its indoor
Table 2. SDG Indicator 2.4.1
Dimensions No Theme Sub-indicators
Economic 1 Land productivity Farm output value per hectare
2 Profitability Net farm income
3 Resilience Risk mitigation mechanisms
Environmental 4 Soil health Prevalence of soil degradation
5 Water use Variation in water availability
6 Fertillizer pollution risk Management of fertillizers
7 Pesticide risk Management of pesticides
8 Biodiversity Use of biodiversity support practices
Social 9 Decent employment Wage rate in agriculture
10 Food security Food insecurity experience scale (FIES)
11 Land tenure Secure tenure rights to land
Source: Food and Agriculture Organisation, 2019
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farming system connected with a smart control system. The system results in high-quality and high-
yield production year-round under a controlled environment. In addition, the IoT-based technologies
allow farmers to plan their production by using mobile devices for monitoring and controlling their
farming systems. The growth process is fully automated for watering, lighting, nutrient adding, and
temperature controlling. The 173.85 m2 × 6 m high plant factory produces approximately 50,552
heads of lettuce per month (Santiteerakul, et al., 2020).
The use of smart farming in the case of Wangree Health Factory Company in Thailand have
resulted in effective resource use efficiency in terms of water use and land use. Less water is needed
due to a water control system that reduces drained water in the growing area and recycles water vapor
into liquid water. It also increases land use efficiency. As the vertical farming method provides a 99
per cent reduction in land use (Santiteerakul, et al., 2020).
Smart farming has the potential in making agriculture more profitable and sustainable by reducing
resource inputs and cost. The use of certain techniques to reduce resource inputs can ensure that
farmers save immensely on labour and the need for reliable spatial data in risk reduction. This is
attributable to the fact that smart farming encourages the use of technology in site-specific weather
forecasts, probability mapping of disasters and diseases, and yield projections. According to Pivoto et
al. (2018) sensors, electrotechnical devices, used in smart farming measure physical quantities from
the environment and convert the measurements into a signal which can be read by an instrument.
Agritech is also expected to boost productivity. The new technologies with artificial intelligence,
analytics, connected sensors, and other emerging technologies could further increase yields, improve
the efficiency of water and other inputs, and build sustainability and resilience across crop cultivation
and animal husbandry (Godde et al., 2020). Furthermore, agritech aims at maximising yields with
fewer input and environmental costs. Not only that, the agritech will also enable the farmers to get
connected with potential consumers directly, thus, shortening the supply chain. In order to make this
happen, diverse stakeholders will be involved – farmers, government, tech providers and researchers
– to build digital tools that respond to local challenges.
Food producers and scientists are also using and developing new technologies to support PA.
With Big Data, smallholders can make better and more informed decisions on for instance, planting
or harvesting times. With PA, the execution of the work like the application of seeds, water, fertilisers,
and crop protection products becomes more efficient. The use of drones has also been recommended
for the monitoring of crops and spraying of pesticides more efficiently.
Site-specific information also enables new insurance and business opportunities for the entire
value chain, from technology and input suppliers to farmers, processors, and the retail sector in
developing and developed societies alike. If all farming-related data are recorded by automated
sensors, the time needed for prioritising the application of resources and for administrative surveillance
is decreased. Digital business models have also emerged, including peer-to-peer lending (Pucci,
2020). Agrifinance is an emerging subsector that helps rural and vulnerable smallholders to reduce
risks and increase farm investment so that they can increase yields and earn a higher income. Apart
from government investment and lending, governments can look into further developing this area
of agrifinance to give farmers the opportunity to afford appropriate new smart farming technologies
for their day-to-day operations.
The adoption of IoT is expected to grow considerably in Malaysia with the arrival of 5G
technology. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission recognized that 5G
enabled precision farming will be the next smart farming platform featuring an AI-driven automation
platform that allows predictive growth modelling, remote global monitoring and control, thus, making
farming possible anywhere (Sharon, 2020). This also promotes usage of internet by agripreneurs to be
better informed on the methods that has already been tested and shared on the internet which makes
it more cost efficient. Online resources such as mobile applications can help on precise planning,
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implementation and data collection of their resources and produce. The usage of ICT by the local
agripreneurs in Malaysia empowers them to create a network amongst the others in the agri-based
industry. Agripreneurs in Malaysia use website surfing extensively as their resource avenue to gather
information on product and services which in turn facilitate communication across other industry
players such as other agripreneurs, agri-technicians, extension officers and agencies.
The implementation of biotechnology and agrotechnology that are currently and widely used
in Malaysia aims to improve yields, reduce cost and reduce losses. Modern chemical herbicides and
Integrated Pest Management techniques are also implemented to the modern farming scheme in
Malaysia. The local farmers also have recognised the benefits of agrotechnology and have utilised
it to maximise resources, manpower and better productivity at large, especially to farmers at rural
areas to lift them out of poverty. HAVVA Agrotech Sdn Bhd in Malaysia is a company that combined
smart farming (planting) methods, such as hydroponic, aquaculture, vertical farming, vermiponic and
aeroponic, and transpired them into urban farming, making farming accessible and simplified for
city-dwellers (Loo, 2020). Urban farming is encouraged to inspire many to grow from own homes
and small gardens. These methods also fully optimise space and introduces many varieties of plants
in a limited space compared to traditional farming.
The Philippines introduced the Smart Plant Production in Controlled Environment (SPICE)
programme aimed at boosting sustainable farming, reducing climate impact and increasing yields and
returns. Beyond the objectives of local food security, the programme also targets to make available
business opportunities for the local vendors in terms of providing services in the agri-sector (Oxford
Business Group, 2018). Vietnam, where agri-industry remains a major source of employment is also
working to boost the industry using integrated farming technologies. It is projected that the industry
will account for double the current share and will contribute to one-fourth of the country’s GDP with
the use of smart farming (World Bank, 2016).
Smart farming also has the potential to boost youth involvement in agriculture. In pursuing the fourth
industrial revolution and ‘agriculture 4.0’, social impact as a result of the new technologies need
to be taken into account. Rose et al. (2021) suggested that agriculture 4.0 should be guided by the
concept of sustainable intensification (SI) for the benefits are enjoyed by people, production and the
planet. An important issue which needs to be addressed is the ageing farmers. This is a worldwide
phenomenon including countries in ASEAN therefore, getting the youth involved in farming is crucial.
These emerging new technologies can help demonstrate to youth that agriculture can be a viable and
profitable business opportunity which can increase the desirability of agriculture-related careers.
Engaging youth in agriculture will enable them to bring innovative and tech-savvy perspective to
solving some of the most difficult problems in agriculture.
Thailand was the first Southeast Asian nation to adopt agriculture biotechnology. Thailand is
currently facing a farming society that is ageing and has constantly been working to attract more
youth into the agriculture sector. In its effort to encourage youth in playing a bigger part in the main
commodity trade of the country, the Department of Agricultural Extension has set up a ‘Young Smart
Farmer’ programme to elevate the youth in the agronomic networks to replace over 50 percent of
retired farmers. The initiative aims to produce new agricultural ‘young blood’ to achieve maximum
agricultural capability by engaging technology to improve yields, as well as other commercial
aspects, including production capacity, management and farm marketing (Bangkok Post, 2019). The
Department recognized the importance of implementing digital technologies, such as the digitalized
cultivation to improve quality of yield so that to create an inclusive means for increasing profits,
whether for local consumption or for exports. Digitized cultivation ensures that natural resources are
used with precision to minimise cost and prevent the possibilities of wastage.
Similarly, Brunei in its bid to attract more youth into the agriculture sector has started to adopt
smart farming. With the ease and availability of the internet, youth in Brunei becomes more well-
Volume 13 • Issue 2 • July-December 2022
informed of modernisation in agriculture. The presence of the internet helps them learn approachable
methods to start experimenting small farm systems from the comfort of their own homes. One example
is S&R Aquafarm (Musa, et al., 2020). The founder of S&R Aquafarm is an inspiring youth who built
an aquaponic farm that aims to promote sustainable smart farming. The farm preserves environmental
amenities by utilizing clean energy, emitting lesson carbon and reducing water wastage. This farm is
powered by solar energy and recycling water containing waste from fish as feed for the hydroponics
demonstrating that smart farming is possible, feasible and sustainable even with limited space.
Agribusiness start-ups founded by youths started to develop rapidly in Brunei to provide
agricultural solutions using smart farming methods and technologies such as precision-farming
softwares, censors and machineries. One example is Agrome IQ, a Brunei’s startup agritech. The
technologies and tools help agripreneurs collect information and analytics to better round their business
decisions affecting yield. They utilise technology to simulate scenarios and case studies references
before implementation for a more predictive and precise outcome. The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak
led to Agrome IQ to launch Brunei’s first online marketplace for local farmers to sell directly to their
potential customers. The motivation to launch the platform was to address the challenges facing
smallholder farmers in marketing their produce amidst the COVID-19 crisis. The data obtained from
purchases also help in gauging customers’ demand, and is shared with farmers to help them better
plan which crops to be planted in the future (Wong, 2020). Thus, this helps to optimise the supply
chain for the farmers when they struggle to market their produce.
Another platform to increase youth participation in agriculture in Brunei is through AgroBIZ. In
2019, AgroBIZ was formed as a project under Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) with its social investment
platform, LiveWIRE Brunei. BSP signed a memorandum of understanding with Institute of Brunei
Technical Education which, aimed to boost the interest and knowledge of youth in agropreneurship
and in the field of agro-technology as agro-technicians. By incorporating the youth into the AgroBIZ
project, they learn skills, knowledge and gain expertise in their field of study to raise the rice and
other cash-crop sufficiency in Brunei (Shell LiveWIRE Brunei, 2019). This helps the local education
system come to a fuller circle of promoting education for agro-farming, where not just researches are
being conducted but also implementation avenues for students to form better concept, experience and
skill set for their future farm and technical trade in agro-technology. Another main commitment of
AgroBIZ is to reduce carbon footprint and environmental impact. Incorporating ecology to ward off
pests with the least environmental damage, crops are administered with natural pesticides and natural
fertilizers to encourage healthy yield while also to prevent damage to the environment.
It can be observed that countries in ASEAN have developed numerous agritech startup initiatives
in order to get more youth involved in agriculture sector. The modernisation of agriculture due to the
rapid development of IoT and cloud computing has transformed the perception of agriculture from
working under the scorching sun and manual labour to working on their fingertips in a controlled
One of the limitation of this study is that it is a purely theoretical paper. This paper have explored
the latest trend of agriculture and the adoption of smart farming methods in contributing towards
sustainable agriculture to meet SDGs and the growing global food demand. The source of information
and data in this paper are mostly secondary hence future studies should consider the use of primary
data and observation which will shed more light on related issues through in-depth empirical and
observable evidence.
Volume 13 • Issue 2 • July-December 2022
The world has been facing challenges in feeding the increasing population. This has prompted the
agriculture sector to come up with innovative ways on how to produce in high quantity and quality.
The unprecedented crisis, COVID-19, have led to disruptions in the supply chain which further
challenge the agriculture sector. One of the ways to tackle this issue is by helping the farmers to be
more connected through smart farming. Smart farming offers a path toward sustainable agriculture by
providing innovative ways into a profitable, socially accepted agriculture that benefits the environment,
sustain farmers’ income and resilience and attract more youth into the sector.
Among the barriers for many of Southeast Asia’s smallholders is the lack of capital to finance
smart farming, hence more intervention is needed in this area. The challenge is to ensure that revolution
works for everyone, especially small-scale farmers. This can be done by conducting capacity building
among farmers in order to avoid deepening the digital divide and ensuring a concise ecosystem is in
place to support healthy growth and support for the relevant stakeholders in the agriculture industry.
It has to be noted the transformation of agriculture in to smart farming in Southeast Asia will
take some time as the nature of the sector is different and it was once a traditional sector. Issues
such as communicating with older farmers, who could often not understand the technicalities of new
technologies will also need to be addressed. However, with the rapid industrial revolution, every
player in different industries will eventually need to embrace and adopt the change.
Volume 13 • Issue 2 • July-December 2022
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Volume 13 • Issue 2 • July-December 2022
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Volume 13 • Issue 2 • July-December 2022
Siti Fatimahwati Pehin Dato Musa is a Lecturer in UBD School of Business and Economics, Universiti Brunei
Darussalam. She has a PhD in Agricultural Economics and Rural Development from Newcastle University, United
Kingdom. She is a recipient of several University grants and welcomes research collaboration in the areas of food
security and sustainability, youth and agriculture, youth unemployment, agritourism and rentier economies. She
has published a book entitled Inspiring Agriprenuers of Brunei; several book chapters in Springer and Emerald
and in international journals pertaining to issues on youth unemployment, youth in agriculture and agribusiness,
food security and agritourism.
Khairul Hidayatullah Basir is an assistant lecturer at the Faculty of Islamic Economics and Finance, Universiti
Islam Sultan Sharif Ali. His research interest lies in the socio-economic development, particularly in the areas of
agriculture and resource economics, youth unemployment and entrepreneurship, and Islamic social finance. He
has presented papers at conferences in Australia, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, and Thailand. To date,
he has successfully published two books and written in a number of journal articles and book chapters. He has
acted as ad-hoc peer reviewer for Scopus-indexed journals. Khairul completed his undergraduate studies at the
University of Brunei Darussalam, where he earned a B.A. (Hons) in Economics and minored in Islamic Banking
and Finance. He holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Melbourne, Australia and
went to the University of Oxford, UK for the Global Mobility Programme where he was awarded Global Mobility
Grant University of Melbourne.
Edna Luah is a mentor at Brunei Mentors for Entrepreneurs Network and at AgroBIZ, Shell LiveWIRE Brunei. She
is also currently pursuing her Master of Government at Universiti of Brunei Darussalam. Her research interest
includes societal inclusion through agribusiness, agrotechnology and smart farming.
Zimmermann, R., & Ferreira, , L.M., & Carrizo Moreira, A. (2016). The influence of supply chain on the
innovation process: A systematic literature review. Supply Chain Management, 21(3), 289–304. doi:10.1108/
... The applications of Smart Farming can contribute to enhancing sustainable development [197][198][199]. Smart Farming can provide numerous advantages to the agricultural industry, including increased crop yield, time and labor savings, reduced costs, and improved crop quality and quantity [200][201][202][203][204]. In general terms, adopting Smart Farming can offer unique benefits in rural regions by promoting a sustainable development approach [205]. ...
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Smart Technology is a quickly and constantly evolving concept; it has different applications that cover a wide range of areas, such as healthcare, education, business, agriculture, and manufacturing. An effective application of these technologies increases productivity and performance within complex systems. On one side, trends show a lack of appeal for rural environments as people prefer to move to cities, looking for better opportunities and lifestyles. On the other side, recent studies and reports show that the attractiveness of rural areas as places with opportunities is increasing. Sustainable solutions are needed to enhance development in the rural context, and technological innovation is expected to lead and support the stability for people and organizations in rural regions. While Smart City is progressively becoming a reality and a successful model for integrating Smart Technology into different aspects of everyday life, its effective application in a rural context according to a Sustainable Development approach is not yet completely defined. This study adopts comparative and categorial content analysis to address the different applications and the specific characteristics of rural regions, which often present significant peculiarities depending on the country and the context. The main goal is to investigate and discuss how the Smart City model may be adopted and effectively applied within rural contexts, looking at major gaps and challenges. Additionally, because of the complexity of the topic, we provide an overview of the current adoption of Smart Technology in the different applications in rural areas, including farming, education, business, healthcare, and governance. The study highlights the huge difficulties in rural life and the potentiality of Smart Technology to enhance their Sustainable Development, which is still challenging. While the holistic analysis clearly points out a gap, there is no specific strategic roadmap to re-use or adapt existing models, such as Smart City. The study does not address fine-grained indicators.
... The adoption of smart agricultural practices will significantly increase the quantity and quality of the products while optimizing human labour [12]. The monitoring and collection of data from smart farming serves as a valuable information in order to identify the optimum condition for plant growth, pests, disease detection and yield prediction [13], [14]. There are 6 elements in the concept of Smart farming which is: The elements used for this project's smart farming are all excluding number four which is telematics. ...
... Although their main focus is paddy farming, students are also taught to incorporate crop diversification. Agribusiness has not entirely escaped criticism; several studies found that corporate-oriented agribusiness, such as large-scale production on monoculture farming, has detrimental effects on ecological systems (Dentoni et al., 2012;Mittal, 2004;Wojtynia et al., 2021, Musa, et al. 2022. It is essential to distinguish that the AgroBiz operation strongly prefers a more sustainable approach over the corporategrowth approach. ...
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This study aims to evaluate the concept of entrepreneurial identity in the AgroBiz youth agripreneur program and the potential implications of agripreneurship in shaping the future of farming in Brunei. An exploratory study was applied to gain insight into agriculture students and course facilitators' perceptions of agripreneurship training using focus group discussion to acquire comprehensive data. Thematic analysis was used to identify emerging agripreneurship and entrepreneurial identity themes. Research findings indicated that incorporating business-innovative practices into vocational agriculture training can instil young farmers with an entrepreneurial identity. The three critical issues addressed in the AgroBiz project: mindset, agribusiness, and agrotechnology, are considered essential components of manifesting the entrepreneurial identity. The research findings may not be comprehensive enough to evaluate the long-term contributions of AgroBiz at the industry level due to the small sample. Nevertheless, AgroBiz is a helpful instrument in nurturing change in the youth and the farming community. ARTICLE HISTORY
... Another main commitment of AgroBIZ is to reduce carbon footprint and environmental impact. Incorporating ecology to ward off pests with the least environmental damage, crops are administered with natural pesticides and natural fertilizers to encourage healthy yield while also to prevent damage to the environment (Musa et al., 2022). One of the products grown by the AgroBiz students is the Sembada 188 rice -a locally produced, high-yield hybrid variety that is organic and pesticide free. ...
The development of digital agriculture is the key to the modernization of China's agricultural and rural areas. This paper constructs an evaluation index system for digital agriculture development from four aspects: digital agriculture information foundation, digital agriculture talent support, digital agriculture green development, and digital agriculture industrial benefits. The entropy weighting method and linear weighting method were used to measure and evaluate the development level of digital agriculture in 31 provinces in China from 2016 to 2020. The results show that the overall development trend of digital agriculture in China is good, the development level of digital agriculture in each province is significantly different, and the digital divide between the east and west is obvious.KeywordsDigital agricultureDevelopment levelEntropy method
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Feeding the world depends on protecting our valuable ecosystems and biodiversity. Currently, increasing public awareness of the problems posed by the current industrialized food system has resulted in increased support for the creative market for economically, socially, and ecologically sustainable food production systems and enhanced demands for variations in agricultural policies and regulations. In food production, the restoration and protection of ecosystems and sustainable food systems must be given priority, which requires a forward-looking rational management strategy and fundamental changes in patterns and practices of economic development, product, and production. Food systems should be redesigned to have a neutral and positive environmental impact, as well as ensure healthy nutrition and food safety, and low environmental impact strategies should become a priority. This review paper aims to discuss, build, guide and evaluate sustainable food systems, principles, and transition strategies such as agroecological, organic, biodynamic, regenerative, urban, and precision agriculture, which are imperative visions for the management of agriculture and food production. To this end, we analyzed the evolution of the established strategies to develop sustainable agriculture and food systems, and we created assessment of key sustainability issues related to food, environment, climate, and rural development priorities and resource use practices.
With recent technological advancements, empowered by the self-learning capabilities of algorithms and increasing power of machine computation, artificial intelligence (AI)-driven technologies have become more salient for addressing and solving specific types of business problems. This saliency is no less important for firms operating in the agricultural technology (AgriTech) sector, where the impacts of AI-driven technologies and systems create new opportunities and challenges. We argue that with the unique characteristics of AI technologies and emerging challenges and aspirations of the AgriTech sector, there is a need to rethink traditional theories of technology adoption and readiness within AgriTech firms. In this paper, we develop an understanding of AI readiness and adoption through a fuller appreciation of micro- and meso-empirical data that delineates the determinants of AI readiness and uncovers a set of strategic components that can help AgriTech firms better manage the readiness process for AI adoption. To do this, we employ a mixed-methods approach and elicit data from 236 e-surveys and 25 interviews from an important conference in the AgriTech field. Our findings have implications for research and practice to understand AI technological readiness.
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COVID-19 has increased food security and disrupted the food supply chain in the agri-food sector. This pandemic can be as a way to research in-depth the strategies that could help in sustaining the agri-food sector to achieve SDG 1 and SDG 2. The objective of this paper is to explore the strategies to make the agri-food sector more sustainable in meeting SDG 1 and SDG 2. This paper relies heavily on journal articles and documents that are accessible online. The possible strategies would be implementing smart farming, giving financial support for farmers, and encouraging youth participation, which could help sustain the agri-food sector in terms of economic, social, and environmental, and also in achieving the SDG 1 and SDG 2.
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Sustainable development is of growing importance to the agriculture sector because the current lacking utilization of resources and energy usage, together with the pollution generated from toxic chemicals, cannot continue at present rates. Sustainability in agriculture can be achieved through using less (or no) poisonous chemicals, saving natural resources, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Technology applications could help farmers to use proper data in decision-making, which leads to low-input agriculture. This work focuses on the role of smart technology implementation in sustainable agriculture. The effects of smart technology implementation are analyzed by using a case study approach. The results show that the plant factory using intelligence technology enhances sustainability performance by increasing production productivity, product quality, crop per year, resource use efficiency, and food safety, as well as improving employees’ quality of life.
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While there is a lot of literature from a natural or technical sciences perspective on different forms of digitalization in agriculture (big data, internet of things, augmented reality, robotics, sensors, 3D printing, system integration, ubiquitous connectivity, artificial intelligence, digital twins, and blockchain among others), social science researchers have recently started investigating different aspects of digital agriculture in relation to farm production systems, value chains and food systems. This has led to a burgeoning but scattered social science body of literature. There is hence lack of overview of how this field of study is developing, and what are established, emerging, and new themes and topics. This is where this article aims to make a contribution, beyond introducing this special issue which presents seventeen articles dealing with social, economic and institutional dynamics of precision farming, digital agriculture, smart farming or agriculture 4.0. An exploratory literature review shows that five thematic clusters of extant social science literature on digitalization in agriculture can be identified: 1) Adoption, uses and adaptation of digital technologies on farm; 2) Effects of digitalization on farmer identity, farmer skills, and farm work; 3) Power, ownership, privacy and ethics in digitalizing agricultural production systems and value chains; 4) Digitalization and agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (AKIS); and 5) Economics and management of digitalized agricultural production systems and value chains. The main contributions of the special issue articles are mapped against these thematic clusters, revealing new insights on the link between digital agriculture and farm diversity, new economic, business and institutional arrangements both on-farm, in the value chain and food system, and in the innovation system, and emerging ways to ethically govern digital agriculture. Emerging lines of social science enquiry within these thematic clusters are identified and new lines are suggested to create a future research agenda on digital agriculture, smart farming and agriculture 4.0. Also, four potential new thematic social science clusters are also identified, which so far seem weakly developed: 1) Digital agriculture socio-cyber-physical-ecological systems conceptualizations; 2) Digital agriculture policy processes; 3) Digitally enabled agricultural transition pathways; and 4) Global geography of digital agriculture development. This future research agenda provides ample scope for future interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary science on precision farming, digital agriculture, smart farming and agriculture 4.0.
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The pursuit of global food security and agricultural sustainability, the dual aim of the second sustainable development goal (SDG-2), requires urgent and concerted action from developing and developed countries. This, in turn, depends on clear and universally applicable targets and indicators which are partially lacking. The novel and complex nature of the SDGs poses further challenges to their implementation on the ground, especially in the face of interlinkages across SDG objectives and scales. Here we review the existing SDG-2 indicators, propose improvements to facilitate their operationalization, and illustrate their practical implementation in Nigeria, Brazil and the Netherlands. This exercise provides insights into the concrete actions needed to achieve SDG-2 across contrasting development contexts and highlights the challenges of addressing the links between targets and indicators within and beyond SDG-2. Ultimately, it underscores the need for integrated policies and reveals opportunities to leverage the fulfillment of SDG-2 worldwide. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1007/s13280-018-1101-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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Smart farming (SF) involves the incorporation of information and communication technologies into machinery, equipment, and sensors for use in agricultural production systems. New technologies such as the internet of things and cloud computing are expected to advance this development, introducing more robots and artificial intelligence into farming. Therefore, the aims of this paper are twofold: (i) to characterize the scientific knowledge about SF that is available in the worldwide scientific literature based on the main factors of development by country and over time and (ii) to describe current SF prospects in Brazil from the perspective of experts in this field. The research involved conducting semi-structured interviews with market and researcher experts in Brazil and using a bibliometric survey by means of data mining software. Integration between the different available systems on the market was identified as one of the main limiting factors to SF evolution. Another limiting factor is the education, ability, and skills of farmers to understand and handle SF tools. These limitations revealed a market opportunity for enterprises to explore and help solve these problems, and science can contribute to this process. China, the United States, South Korea, Germany, and Japan contribute the largest number of scientific studies to the field. Countries that invest more in R&D generate the most publications; this could indicate which countries will be leaders in smart farming. The use of both research methods in a complementary manner allowed to understand how science frame the SF and the mains barriers to adopt it in Brazil.
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Abstrakt Food constitutes the basic human need. Without food it is impossible to meet other needs. Southeast Asia – with its growing population, deteriorating environmental conditions, exposure to climate change and rapid economic development – is particularly exposed to its negative consequences. This analysis is based on the assumption that single states cannot achieve food security without some degree of international cooperation. The goal of the paper is to analyze the changing paradigms of food security governance in Southeast Asia and identify opportunities and constraints to regional food security governance in the ASEAN context.
Three tenets of sustainable intensification should guide the fourth agricultural revolution: people, production, and the planet. Thus far, narratives of agriculture 4.0 have been predominately framed in terms of benefits to productivity and the environment with little attention placed on social sustainability. This is despite the fact that agriculture 4.0 has significant social implications, both potentially positive and negative. Our viewpoint highlights the need to incorporate social sustainability (or simply ‘people’) into technological trajectories and we outline a framework of multi-actor co-innovation to guide responsible socio-technical transitions. Through the greater inclusion of people in agricultural innovation systems guided by responsible innovation principles, we can increase the likelihood of this technology revolution achieving social sustainability alongside benefiting production and the environment.