How does the Adoption of Digital Technologies Affect the Social Sustainability of Small-scale Agriculture in South-West Germany?

Rolf Weber, Jürgen Braun, Markus Frank


The adoption of digital technologies is expected to impact the social sustainability of agriculture, in particular in the case of small and mid-sized family farms in Western Europe. Goal of this research was to assess these impacts, however widely accepted impact assessment schemes of social sustainability are missing. Against this background, a qualitative, two-stage Delphi survey was conducted in order to identify relevant impact categories of the adoption of digital technologies in family-operated small-scale farms of South-West Germany. The participating experts stated, for example, that the adoption of digital technologies on the farm could mean that new business models can be based on the use of digital technologies. However, they also stated that digital technology could overburden farmers, which could hinder digitization in this sector as a whole. Data protection and data security were also issues ranked highly important by the participants in the Delphi Process.


Digitization; social sustainability; Delphi methodology; Agribusiness; small-scale agriculture

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ISSN 1869-6945


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