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Gent University (2022)

Towards wireless sensor network adoption by small-scale farmers in southwest Iran

Taheri, Fatemeh

Titre : Towards wireless sensor network adoption by small-scale farmers in southwest Iran

Adoptie van draadloze sensornetwerken door kleinschalige boeren in zuidwest Iran

Auteur : Taheri, Fatemeh

Université de soutenance : Gent University

Grade : PhD Thesis 2022

Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) are an environmentally friendly technology supporting a more timely and cost-effective farm management and production. Despite the great potentials of WSNs for improving agricultural productivity and the various other benefits expected from this technology, WSNs are not widely adopted in the Global South, especially not by small-scale farmers. This dissertation explores several aspects related to the potential uptake and use of WSNs in small-scale farming. The study focuses on the technology (WSNs), the context of expanding the technology (small-scale farming), the potential users of the technology (small-scale farmers), and the gatekeepers who control access to and use of the technology (agricultural professionals). The study finds that the application of WSNs is mostly limited to academic studies, and practical WSN experiences in the field are very limited. Farmers are still unfamiliar with WSNs, and they experience several barriers to adopting this technology. The identified barriers were attributed to the technology itself, the farmers’ own perspectives and lack of support by the government. The study categorizes farmers based on four types of perceptions regarding the application of WSNs, namely : support-seekers, resistance-adherents, optimists and adoptive-adherents. The study further shows that, in order to promote WSN diffusion, it is necessary to increase the knowledge of agricultural professionals about the WSNs’ usefulness. An increased sense of easiness regarding the use of WSNs is also required. In conclusion, to realize the potential of WSNs for small-scale farmers, 1) the claimed benefits and opportunities of WSNs will need small-scale farm-level validation, 2) environmental and socio-economical conditions of farmers should be taken into account while selecting the technology, and 3) the main actors, including farmers and agricultural professionals, should be involved in the design and management of the technology.

Présentation (DART)

Page publiée le 13 avril 2023