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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2017

Promoting sustainable intensification in precision agriculture: review of decision support systems development and strategies

Lindblom, Jessica; Lundstrom, Christina; Ljung, Magnus; Jonsson, Anders


Precision agriculture provides important issues toward a more sustainable agriculture. Many farmers have the necessary technology to operate site-specifically, but they do not use it in practice, and thus available information and communications technology (ICT) systems are not used to their full potential. This paper addresses how to reduce the so-called "problem of implementation", based on the knowledge that participatory approaches during the design and development process is one of the most important factors to frame technology adoption. The development of sustainable ICT systems through theories and methodologies from the fields of human computer interaction and user-centered design (UCD) is presented and an ongoing Swedish project for development of an agricultural decision support system (AgriDSS) for nitrogen fertilization is used as an example to frame the issue. The overreaching aim is to develop AgriDSSs that are sustainable in design as well as through design by stressing the importance of participatory approaches for the successful development of AgriDSSs. The Swedish project has the intention to apply a UCD approach, and some pitfalls on starting to use this way of working is identified as well as some suggestions on how to reduce them through co-learning processes. Despite the challenges presented in this paper, ICT can contribute significantly to long-term sustainable development. Thus, several competences and scientific disciplines need to act in concert to help develop a sustainable development of agriculture via a transdisciplinary approach that can make an impact on society at many levels.


Agricultural decision support system; User-centered design; Sustainability; Problem of implementation; Co-learning; Transdisciplinarity

Published in

Precision Agriculture
2017, volume: 18, number: 3, pages: 309-331
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Lindblom, Jessica
University of Skövde
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Ortskansli Skara
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment

Sustainable Development Goals

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

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers


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