Understanding the public attitudinal acceptance of digital farming technologies: a nationwide survey in Germany

Agriculture and Human Values 38 (1):107-128 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The magnitude of public concerns about agricultural innovations has often been underestimated, as past examples, such as pesticides, nanotechnology, and cloning, demonstrate. Indeed, studies have proven that the agricultural sector presents an area of tension and often attracts skepticism concerning new technologies. Digital technologies have become increasingly popular in agriculture. Yet there are almost no investigations on the public acceptance of digitalization in agriculture so far. Our online survey provides initial insights to reduce this knowledge gap. The sample represents the German population in terms of gender, age, education and size of place of residence. Results showed that if the potential of digital farming technologies regarding animal welfare and environmental protection was described, respondents reacted positively. Thus, the general attitudes of respondents toward the benefits of DFT were mostly positive. The approval to increasing adoption rates of particular DFT by providing subsidies was also high. Linear regression models showed that the dominant positive influences on respondents’ attitudes toward the benefits of DFT were a generally positive attitude toward farming and a strong trust in farmers in Germany. Confronting respondents with pictures showing DFT resulted in many spontaneous negative associations and general criticism of agricultural production. The latter holds true for DFT in animal husbandry in particular. However, as agriculture as a whole is criticized by many groups in Germany, it is unlikely that benefits from digitalization will significantly increase the public acceptance of agriculture as a whole.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 78,037

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

"Digital" plants and the rise of responsible precision agriculture.H. G. J. Gremmen & V. Blok - 2018 - In Angela Kallhoff, M. Di Paola & M. Schörgenhumer (eds.), Plant Ethics. Routledge. pp. 213-220.
Economics and energetics of organic and conventional farming.David Pimentel - 1993 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 6 (1):53-60.


Added to PP

6 (#1,114,683)

6 months
1 (#484,784)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?