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The Effects of Individual Variables, Farming System Characteristics and Perceived Barriers on Actual Use of Smart Farming Technologies: Evidence from the Piedmont Region, Northwestern Italy

Institute for Agricultural and Earthmoving Machines (IMAMOTER) of the National Research Council (CNR) of Italy, Strada delle Cacce 73, 10135 Torino, Italy
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Agriculture 2019, 9(5), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9050111
Received: 17 April 2019 / Revised: 16 May 2019 / Accepted: 20 May 2019 / Published: 23 May 2019
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Abstract

Smart Farming Technologies (SFTs) have a real potential to deliver more productive and sustainable agricultural production. However, limited empirical research is available on the role played by objective and subjective factors in the adoption of such disruptive innovations, especially in the Italian context. This study investigated the role of education, farm size, being a sole farmer, and perceived barriers in affecting the use of SFTs in a sample of Italian farmers from the Piedmont region (North-West Italy). Three hundred and ten farming operators were questioned via a paper-and-pencil questionnaire. The analyses showed that low levels of education and working on-farm alone were positively associated with perceived economic barriers, which in turn were negatively associated with the adoption of SFTs. Farm size had a positive direct effect on SFT adoption. The results pointed out the need for targeted policies and training interventions to encourage the use of SFTs. View Full-Text
Keywords: barrier to innovation; farmers’ perception; innovation adoption; Smart Farming; Italy barrier to innovation; farmers’ perception; innovation adoption; Smart Farming; Italy
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Caffaro, F.; Cavallo, E. The Effects of Individual Variables, Farming System Characteristics and Perceived Barriers on Actual Use of Smart Farming Technologies: Evidence from the Piedmont Region, Northwestern Italy. Agriculture 2019, 9, 111.

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