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The goal of the Agriculture in the Digital Age scoping review is to capture, classify, and annotate to the fullest degree possible—the research on digital interventions in agriculture, using peer-reviewed studies and other carefully selected sources.

Read more about our methods in the full report.

A selection of 315 articles, case studies and reports were included for our assessment of how the proliferation of digital technology and data analytics impacts small-scale farmers and agricultural service providers in low- and middle-income. Among the questions we sought to address:

  • What is the quality of evidence describing the impact and effectiveness of digitally-enabled farmer services models?
  • What are the various digitally-enabled service types for agriculture, and what has been made available to farmers?
  • What are the outcomes measured by these service types?
  • What are the facilitators and barriers to use of these service types, and how to do they contribute to an uptake in use?

The dataset can be explored using the filters below. 

Facilitators and barriers

Facilitators and barriers
Privacy supported Immediate benefit Saves money Comprehensive information Farmers respected Learning supported Service benefits conveyed Improve transparency Incentives Market access sensitive Extension access sensitive Localizes or site-specific Labour access sensitive Bundled service Saves time Information reliability Capital access sensitive Trust (general) Motivation supported Flexible applicability Saves travel User involvement Discussion supported Choice supported Relatable source Credible source Input access sensitive Interactive Ease of testing Grow professional network Constraint sensitive (general) Priority sensitive (general) Service sustained Organizational support Mobile network affordability Device quality Electricity access Mobile network availability Aware of DEAS Device access Culturally sensitive Community support Involuntary use Ease of sharing Embarrassment avoided Maintain relationships Improve status Speed of use Multiple digital interfaces Familiar language Visual interface No technical bugs Social network access Ease of first use Familiar terminology Reminders Familiar service or interface Digital illiteracy sensitive Affordable use cost Ease of use (general) Math calculations facilitated Aesthietic interface Timelines Entertaining How to use explained Ease of payment Ease of reference Password not required Eyesight sensitive Updated content Constaint sensitive (general) Spam avoided Illiteracy sensitive Human support Ease of interpretation

Privacy supported

User's information kept private

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Immediate benefit

User perceives use of service will deliver benefits quickly

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Saves money

User saves money by using the service

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Comprehensive information

User perceives service provides sufficient information

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Farmers respected

User feels respected by the service

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Learning supported

User perceives service could increase user's knowledge

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Service benefits conveyed

User understands service's value proposition

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Improve transparency

User perceives use of service will enable them to monitor other agricultural organisations and professionals

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Incentives

Incentives to use the service (unrelated to its core function)

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Market access sensitive

Aligned with user's constraints regarding access to markets for farm produce

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Extension access sensitive

Complements users' level of (in)access to formal and non-digital Extension service(s)

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Localizes or site-specific

Service and/or its content adapted to user's geography

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Labour access sensitive

Aligned with user's constraints regarding access to labour

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Bundled service

Multiple service types delivered to farmers as one service

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Saves time

User saves time by using the service

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Information reliability

User perceives service information to be reliable

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Capital access sensitive

Aligned with user's constraints regarding access to capital

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Trust (general)

User trusts the service (unspecified how)

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Motivation supported

Use increases user's motivation

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Flexible applicability

User perceives service to be transferable across multiple use cases

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Saves travel

User travels less by using the service

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User involvement

User involved in supply of the service

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Discussion supported

Service helps user discuss service and its content with real people

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Choice supported

Service offers user multiple options

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Relatable source

User perceives supplier of service to be relatable

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Credible source

User perceives supplier of service to be credible

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Input access sensitive

Aligned with user's constraints regarding access to agricultural inputs

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Interactive

Responsive to user input

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Ease of testing

User can quickly and cheaply test using service and/or its content on a small-scale

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Grow professional network

User perceives use of service could develop new connections with other agricultural professionals

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Constraint sensitive (general)

Aligned with user's constraints (unspecified how)

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Priority sensitive (general)

Aligned with user's priorities (unspecified how)

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Service sustained

Service supply is sustained over time

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Organizational support

Organizational_support

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Mobile network affordability

User can afford to mobile network costs required to use service

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Device quality

User can access device of required quality to use service

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Electricity access

User can access electricity required to use service

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Mobile network availability

User is located where there is an available mobile network with speed and reliability required to use service

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Aware of DEAS

User aware of service's existence

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Device access

User can access device at required time to use service

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Culturally sensitive

Aligned with user's culture

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Community support

User received assistance to use service from members of their community

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Involuntary use

User perceives use of service is compulsory

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Ease of sharing

User perceives service to be easy to share with people in user's social network

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Embarrassment avoided

User perceives service to not create a risk of embarrassment

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Maintain relationships

User perceives use of service could improve user's personal relationships

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Improve status

User perceives use of service could increase user's social status

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Speed of use

User perceives use of service to be not overly time-consuming

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Multiple digital interfaces

User perceives they can access the service via more than one digital interface

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Familiar language

User understands the language(s) used by the service

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Visual interface

Service's digital interface is visual

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No technical bugs

Service free of technical bugs

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Social network access

Extent to which user is socially connected to other people that can facilitate use of the service

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Ease of first use

User perceives their first use of the service to be easy

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Familiar terminology

User understands the terminology (including metrics and technical terms) used by the service

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Reminders

Service reminds users of information they are already familiar with and at relevant times

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Familiar service or interface

User perceives service and/or it's digital interface to be familiar

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Digital illiteracy sensitive

Aligned with user's skill-level operating digital devices

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Affordable use cost

User perceives service fee to be affordable

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Ease of use (general)

User perceives service to be easy to use (unspecified how)

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Math calculations facilitated

User avoids performing mathematical calculations by and/or when using the service

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Aesthietic interface

User perceives service's digital interface(s) to be aesthetically pleasing

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Timelines

User perceives service to be supplied at relevant times of day and/or season

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Entertaining

User perceives service experience to be entertaining

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How to use explained

User perceives adequate explanation supplied regarding how-to-use the service

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Ease of payment

User perceives service to be easy to (re)subscribe to

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Ease of reference

User perceives service content to be easy to refer to on-demand

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Password not required

User does not need to remember a password to use service

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Eyesight sensitive

Aligned with user's eyesight constraints

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Updated content

Content provided by service is refreshed

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Constaint sensitive (general)

Aligned with user's constraints (unspecified how)

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Spam avoided

User is not disrupted by service at undesired times

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Illiteracy sensitive

Aligned with user's (in)ability to read and write

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Human support

Service's digital interface is complemented with support for users from a real person (remotely and/or in-person)

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Ease of interpretation

User perceives service and its content to be easy to understand

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Each hexagon in the above figure includes the number of articles that describe each particular use facilitator.

Hover over each hexagon to see a brief definition of the facilitator.  The corresponding citation for each facilitator are available by selecting the filters (below). 

We used the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) proposed by Venkatesh et al.  to organize the 74 individual facilitators and barriers of DEAS as we identified them in the  literature, such as digital literacy, trust, and ease of use (Venkatesh et al., 2003, 2012).