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30-Mar.-2020 16:31

Digital transformation: from the company to the field

By Ana Paula de Assis Maia, Digital Poultry Product Manager Cargill Animal Nutrition, Digital Insights

In agribusiness, in recent times, much has been heard about digital transformation. For most, this term means transforming an analog process into a digital process, or adopting technologies in processes. Some still believe that digital transformation is innovation

Based on these concepts, many agribusiness companies are looking for digital projects that allow the transformation of business models, with the adoption of new technologies in the field, thus ensuring their competitiveness. This runaway frightens company employees, producers and integrated in the field, leading them to think that their work will be replaced by technology, when, in fact, they do not realize that this work is essential in the digital transformation process.

The problem with these concepts is that the focus is on the term “digital” and not on the first word that is “transformation”.

Although agribusiness is considered one of the most conservative, in which the application of technologies is more recent than in other industries, such as the automobile industry, for example, we cannot deny that we have already experienced an incredible technological revolution in the field. From sensors to robotics, the use of artificial intelligence in crop monitoring, the prediction of slaughter weight, production management processes and animal identification, among others. It is estimated that today we have approximately 300 technology startups with solutions for agribusiness in Brazil, called AgTechs (https://www.agtechgarage.com/censo/).

Undoubtedly, there is a range of technological solutions on the market with the aim of improving productivity and profitability in the field. However, we cannot neglect the fact that the digital transformation goes beyond the “digital”, it is a transformation that involves people.

To paraphrase some writers “Digital transformation is not about technology, it's about people!”. This sentence validates my daily work. I am increasingly convinced that the success of digital transformation in the field begins with people, with the motivation of each one to do things differently and with quality. To give up family beliefs and traditions to apply something innovative in animal production.

The “digital is just the digitization of what we already knew and did. But the real transformation comes from changing behavior, the way to lead, the motivation of workers through the application of technologies. These transformations produce the empowerment of professionals in the field, who are often too simple to use technology that seems so complex, but when they embrace change, they “buy the idea”, and realize that they are capable of doing much more than they imagined .

The adoption of technology goes beyond greater productivity and business profitability, it brings quality of life for the producer in the field. It allows you to spend less time and effort on manual, “manual” tasks and more time interacting with people. It is a shift from cognitive skills to social skills.

I believe that, due to this lack of understanding of the real concept of digital transformation, we still have little application of technologies in agribusiness, mainly in Latin American animal production at the farm and farm level. We want producers to adopt technologies, to implement several digital solutions with so many benefits for companies' profitability, but we forget the essential: PEOPLE.

The challenges of agribusiness and the adoption of the technologies that we have available require us to take a different look, a willingness to transform people, but, above all, a willingness to be transformed.

Do we want to set the pace for this transformation? We have to put people first.




5th Livestock Farming Congress - Artificial Intelligence in Favor of Animal Production

Date: September 29th