Next Generation Decision Support Systems for Farmers: Sustainable Agriculture through Sustainable ITLindblom, Jessica; Lundström, Christina; Ljung, Magnus
The core of many changes towards a more sustainable agriculture is the individual decision-maker. The decisions of each farmer have impacts on sustainability and are made in a complex world of contradictious interests and values. Agricultural decision support systems (AgriDSS) will be a major contributor in the realization of a viable farm economy with less negative environmental impact, but it must not only provide current and relevant information. Current DSSs available to farmers, advisors, experts, and policy makers are not used to their full potential. One reason is that they fail to capture the actual needs of the farmers and to understand their decision-making in practice. They are not adapted to the high complexity characterizing sustainable land use decision-making. Among farmers the acceptance of these systems are low, partly because existing DSS are based on what scientists and system developers consider as necessary. As a result, new linkages and better understanding between different stakeholders in agriculture has to be improved. The user-centred design (UCD) approach can answer the core of the identified problems of most DSSs, because it put the farmers' experience in focus and involve them early and continuously in the design process.In this paper we discuss next generation's AgriDSS which are useful and useable for farmers and other stakeholders. By introducing theories from UCD, illustrated by the Swedish case of implementing Precision Agriculture, we show what is needed to make new technologies contribute to resilient farms and farming systems. We argue that there is a dual link between environmental sustainability and information systems (IS) addressing both sustainability through design - how IS can be used to promote more sustainable behaviours, and sustainability in design - how sustainability can be the governing principle of the design of the information systems themselves. Consequently, the next generation's AgriDSS must simultaneously enable stakeholders to get access to the best knowledge available, and at the same time involve them in the process of developing the user interface design. To use existing and future information efficiently, participatory approaches are therefore crucial and need to be a part of transition towards sustainable agriculture.
Published inBook title: Farming Systems Facing Global Challenges: Capacities and Strategies
Publisher: International Farming System Association
ConferenceThe 11th European IFSA Symposium, 1-4 April 2014 in Berlin, Germany. IFSA, International Farming Systems Association - Europe Group
UKÄ Subject classification
Human Computer Interaction
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