Digitalization and corporate power in agriculture: Discussion tour and study presentation with Pat Mooney, laureate of the Alternative Nobel Prize, in Berlin (09/10/2018), Hamburg (10/10/2018) and Cologne (11/10/2018).
News from Sep 03, 2018
Smart farming, drones, remote-controlled tractors, the use of climate and weather information with Big Data technologies, or an application of a synthetic biology: is digitization the new panacea for stopping hunger crises and biodiversity loss, or limiting climate change?
New technologies promise increased efficiency and sustainability in food production. At the center of this phenomenon is the massive gathering and analysis of aggregated data generated at the farms, in cultivation and by the consumers. Agribusiness companies such as Bayer and Deere, but also Internet companies such as Amazon and Google are already in the process of acquiring their dominance over the digitization of agriculture. Through mergers, they consolidate power not only in one sector, but across multiple sections of the agricultural supply chain. Political decision-makers in Germany and elsewhere support their efforts, emphasizing the benefits of digitization and by removing investment barriers.
A critical examination has been insufficient thus far: Who are the key players in the digitization business and what are their goals? What does digitization explicitly mean for small-scale producers and workers in agriculture and the food industry worldwide? To what extent and with which political measures can digitization be used for the conversion to a socially and ecologically just agriculture?