Original Research

Factors influencing the adoption of Internet of Things in the agricultural sector in Limpopo province

Michael N. Moeti, Sello N. Mokwena, Mabolatsa Selape
South African Journal of Information Management | Vol 26, No 1 | a1669 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v26i1.1669 | © 2024 Michael N. Moeti, Sello N. Mokwena, Mabolatsa Selape | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 February 2023 | Published: 05 February 2024

About the author(s)

Michael N. Moeti, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, Tshwane University of Technology, Polokwane, South Africa
Sello N. Mokwena, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Science and Agriculture, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa
Mabolatsa Selape, Department of Informatics, Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, Tshwane University of Technology, Soshanguvhe, South Africa

Abstract

Background: The Internet of Things (IoT) interconnects humans to things, things to things, and humans to humans, streamlining routine activities via the Internet for time and cost savings, and heightened productivity. Despite a global uptick in IoT adoption, Limpopo province’s agricultural sector faces a significant lag in embracing and utilizing IoT technologies.

Objectives: The goal of the study was to determine the factors that may determine the adoption and use of IoT within the agricultural sector in Limpopo province.

Method: A qualitative study was carried out using Unified Theory Acceptance and Usage of Technology (UTAUT) as the theoretical lens. Data were collected using interviews, observations, and document reviews from the Limpopo agricultural sector participants. Analysis was performed by means of thematic analysis.

Results: Priori themes for this study namely, organisational support, cost, knowledge gap, security and policy were confirmed as significant in the adoption of IoT in the Limpopo agricultural sector. Monitoring, control, perceived value, and risk emerged as new themes in the adoption of IoT.

Conclusion: For Limpopo agricultural sector to be transformed from manual methods of conducting agricultural activities to the automated method, they will need support enshrined in policies dealing with cost, knowledge transfers as well as security assurances about the use of modern technology such as IoT.

Contribution: A study exploring IoT adoption in Limpopo’s agricultural sector promises regional transformation. The Internet of Things can revolutionise practices with real-time monitoring, data-driven decision-making, boosting crop yields, resource efficiency, and sustainability. It empowers smallholder farmers, stimulates rural development, offers valuable data for policymakers, and enhances economic viability in addressing challenges like water scarcity, climate change, and market competitiveness, ultimately improving livelihoods in Limpopo province.


Keywords

Internet of Things; IoT; agriculture, Unified Theory Acceptance and Usage of Technology; UTAUT; adoption factors; rural development

JEL Codes

C80: General; C82: Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data • Data Access; C88: Other Computer Software

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Metrics

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