Digital technologies are often touted as a silver bullet to respond to the interconnected crises of food, climate and biodiversity. Although they are presented by their promoters in governments and corporations as a necessary tool for innovation and for making food systems more efficient and sustainable, the reality is much more complex.
This report examines the implications of digital technologies taking hold in European agriculture. It focuses particularly on frictions between new digital technologies and peasant autonomy, agroecology and food sovereignty.
Technologies are not mute objects. Their development, distribution and use are inextricably linked to economic and political interests, cultural meanings, different types of knowledge as well as social and ecological relationships. In a context where money, technological know-how and power are highly concentrated in the hands of a few large companies and countries, the digitalization of food and agriculture is set to reinforce inequalities and discrimination.