Digitisation was yet in its infancy in Thailand, too, according to Witsanu Attavanich from Kasetsart University in Bangkok. One aspect Attavanich complained of was that the government was merely gathering statistics without making any use of them to lead policy.

A megahype with a huge disappointment potential

“Smaller farmers are driven out of business”, Thomas Berger of the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart maintained, backing his statement with the observation that most efforts were in large-scale operations and in the developed world. “Data driven agriculture favours highly mechanised large-scale farming and agribusiness.” High expectations associated with digitisation of agriculture had so far not been met.

Berger warned against viewing digitalisation as the sole blessing to stop hunger and minimise environmental impacts. “We don’t know what the effects of digitisation of agriculture will be on food security. This is difficult to assess.” First, still prevailing fundamental knowledge gaps had to be closed.