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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Digitalization and Future Agro-Food Supply Chain Management: A Literature-Based Implications

Amentae, Tadesse Kenea; Gebresenbet, Girma


Achieving transition towards sustainable and resilient food systems is a critical issue on the current societal agenda. This study examined the potential contribution of digitalization of the food system to such transition by reviewing 76 relevant journal articles, indexed on the Scopus database, using the integrative literature review approach and descriptive content analysis with MAXQDA 2020 software. 'Blockchain' was the top hit among keywords and main concepts applied to the food system. The UK as a country and Europe as a continent were found to lead the scientific research on food system digitalization. Use of digital technologies such as blockchain, the Internet of Things, big-data analytics, artificial intelligence, and related information and communications technologies were identified as enablers. Traceability, sustainability, resilience to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and reducing food waste were among the key benefit areas associated with digitalization for different food commodities. Challenges to practical applications related to infrastructure and cost, knowledge and skill, law and regulations, the nature of the technologies, and the nature of the food system were identified. Developing policies and regulations, supporting infrastructure development, and educating and training people could facilitate fuller digitalization of the food system.


agro-food supply chain management; blockchain; digitalization; IoT; sustainability; sustainable food system; traceability

Published in

2021, volume: 13, number: 21, article number: 12181
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Amentae, Tadesse Kenea
Ambo University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Energy and Technology

Associated SLU-program

Food Waste

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG2 Zero hunger
SDG9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

UKÄ Subject classification

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Information Systems, Social aspects

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)