1. Introduction

The use of information and communication technology (ICT) in agriculture is positioned on the idea of enhancing the economic potential of agricultural land by applying and assessing continuous updated geospatial database from various evaluating methods (Maglinets, Raevich and Tsibulskii, 2017). Latest technologies such as the precision agriculture (PA), big data and internet of things (IOT) are introducing more robots and artificial intelligence into farming (Pivoto et al., 2017). The technological transformation to collect and use of data is immensely going through the agriculture to absorb smarter farming insights (Pham and Stack, 2018). The Conventional farming is changing into smart farming (SM) farming through the fusion of information and communication technologies with machinery, devices and sensors to use in crop production (Pham and Stack, 2018).

Agriculture sector plays an essential part in the economic growth of a country. It supports not only the commercial aspect but also creates the new industrial opportunity for the nation. Hence, advancing agriculture by using the online technology becomes necessary for both developing and agriculture-based countries (Macatta, 2016). However, the implementation of technology alone is not able to provide the effectiveness in food production. The primary challenge for agricultural science is to fill the gap between technology and poor farmer in the rural areas of developing countries by providing the resources (Chambers and Jiggins, 1987). Over I billion people living in rural areas in developing countries are poor (Fao.org, 2017). There is a greater need for the design of the policy and strategy to improve farmers’ adoption of high-cost agricultural technologies (Gebremariam and Tesfaye, 2018). However, considering rural advancement with the modernisation of agriculture and the economic benefits is not always contribute to the rural areas. Preserving the rural regions with sound infrastructures and social services is also an essential aspect of rural agriculture development (Rivera et al., 2017). Therefore, the purpose of this assignment is to focus towards the use of online technologies in rural agricultural areas and to provide the analysis of technology use in rural areas by applying the theoretical framework model.

2. Theory

The Socio-technical system (STS) theory, refers the relation of a social and technical aspect of an organization during the implementation of new technology. It ensures the social, technical and organisational factors of a system are studied together (Trist, 1981).  The social element comprises of people's behaviour, sociology, psychology, knowledge, training and needs in an organization whereas the technical portion includes technology, devices and machines (Cherns, 1976). The purpose behind the application of the social-technical design is to understand how functional system and designated task get affected by people, social, technical and organisational factors (Kallenborn and TTube, 2014). In STS designing approach, First, a technological aspect establishes to the fit the people in the system (Mumford, 2003). STS is concerned with the work system and open environment to defend the work system from external interruptions by developing the boundary management system (Appelbaum, 1997). Furthermore, STS contains the four dimensions which are associated with the individual subset and support all the actors in the system. In this design, there is a requirement of coordination between different groups working productively to increase the effectiveness (Mumford, 2002). 

The socio-technical perspective represents the main four factors: people, structure, task and technology. These four parts are lies under two groups. The Social aspect consists of people and structure. On the other hand, the technical element comprises of technology and the task (Bostrom and Heinen, 1977). The disciplines that are related to technical approach are computer science, management science and operational research (Appelbaum, 1997). The computer science study is concerned with computing method, calculations, storage and access. Management science focuses on developing the model for decision making and management practice (Mumford, 2002). Operational research is connected to mathematical techniques to enhance some parameters Such as – inventory, transportation and transactional cost (Trist, 1981).  The social approach is concerned with three behavioural approaches: sociology, physiology and economics (Mumford, 2002).  Sociology aspect focuses on seeing how the system affects individual, group and organization. Physiology aspect aims to understand how human decision maker absorbs and use the information. Economic study with an interest to know how it changes the production value and cost of an organization (Mumford, 2002).

The knowledge of agroecosystem concept, hierarchy, decision-making unit in farming and modelling agriculture as a human activity system enable us to understand, project and efficiently manage the implementation (Francis and Altieri, 1993). So, the purpose of this assignment is to focus on analysing the application of ICT in agriculture development by applying the socio-technical theory.

3.1 Analysis

ICT can play an essential role in agriculture development. However, there are many studies which suggest the study of adverse consequences of post implementation of technology. So, is necessary to consider the main significant factors of agriculture and technology which lead to the successful implementation (Salampasis and Theodoridis, 2013). The associations and government divisions involved in agriculture improvement need to understand the capability of ICT for the fast sharing of information to the farmers. A traditional knowledge digital libraries (TKDL) is required to collect and share different types of local education in rural areas among farmers (Jhamtani and Rao, 2004). Furthermore, ICT adoption and implementation associates change and the acceptance of job responsibilities, methods, and teamwork, so it should be explicitly connected to the research on change management and change leadership (Korpelainen, 2011). The primary focus of ICT in agriculture should be to identify the farmers’ needs for information, and comprehensive training should be given to staff working directly with the farmers (Jhamtani and Rao, 2004). In the rural area of developing countries, are many sustainability factors of farming systems. The adoption of sustainable technology needs to concern about food security, quality of livelihood, organization support and maintaining the rural communities (I. Duruiheoma et al., 2015).

3.1 People

The intervention of information and communication technology and sustainable implementation of the system in agriculture require an integrated approach towards farmers and people in the organization (Kisan, Dadabhau and Singh, 2013).  Farmers’ behaviour, psychology, attitude, surrounding environment and decision-making power significance the agricultural technology adoption decisions (Abay, Blalock and Berhane, 2017). Furthermore, understanding the farmers' need encourages the improvement in technology adoption (Hua, 2015). Study of other factors among rural farmers like age, education, subsidiary occupation, landholding, the frequency of use of ICT services and computer literacy assists to draft the implementation and extension of services (Tata and McNamara, 2016). Establishing a training centre and different training programs in rural areas increase the awareness and knowledge of farmers regarding technology, which helps both organization and people to focus on the sustainable agriculture system (Khalil Moghaddam and Khatoon-Abadi, 2013). Overall, an information system based to provide information to the point of action and problem-solving enhance the adaptability of the system along with farmer's contribution. Since, the ICT design with flexibility, scalability and integrability are the prime characteristics in developing the new and innovative technology systems for agriculture (Suprem, Mahalik and Kim, 2013)

3.1 Structure

Several researchers in the field of ICT adoption represent the significant role of organizations structure (Hayes and Westrup, 2012). According to Cherns, A. (1976), all organizations are a socio-technical system. In STS design, the primary objective of organizations is using a combined approach of social and technical aspect to increase the compatibility and innovativeness of people (Cherns, 1976). The innovation of IS in developing countries requires the sharing of technologies and organizational process (Avgerou, 2001). Therefore, during the implementation of ICT continuous support from the organization such as governments, private company and others actors assist the agriculture development in a long-term manner (Kisan, Dadabhau and Singh, 2013). Findings show that by considering the helpful approach towards each actor in IS not only increase the work productivity but also contribute the new skills and ideas to the organization (Aarts, 2001). Finally, linking small landholder farmer directly to the marketplace by technical and organizational support leads to the sustainable agricultural development.

3.2 Task

The task in IS system defines the work assigned to an individual as per their capability and skills (Read et al., 2014). The balance between task and IS positively impact the performance of the task (Junglas, Abraham and Watson, 2008). Furthermore, the gap between task and individual skills restrict the process. So, training to support the system and individual is necessary (Mumford, 2000). However, it becomes essential and complicated many time for identifying the potential of the individual in a system, which impacts the efficiency of the Implementation of information and communication technology (Gebremariam and Tesfaye, 2018). Research suggests that to make the sustainable ICT in farming, it is necessary to increase the reach of ICT based interventions. Moreover, identifying factors which impact the scope of ICT development such as farmers alertness and contribution need to be assessed (Tata and McNamara, 2016).

3.3 Technology

Technology is the most important aspect of ICT implementation in agriculture development (Avgerou, 2001). According to (Salemink, Strijker and Bosworth, 2017), people living in the rural area are in the most need of enhanced digital connectivity as compared to the urban people. In order to promote the successful ICT development in the rural area, it is crucial to advance the technology at the grass root level before an implementation (Chambers and Jiggins, 1987). Most of the rural communities are unknown to the technology. So, by analysing the education, income and external environment of farmers, ICT can be successfully adopted by the farmers, especially in rural areas, which ultimately improve the agriculture development (Chambers and Jiggins, 1987). 

4. Conclusion

The research shows how the information and communication technology can be useful in the field of agriculture, especially in the rural area of developing countries. The Information and communication technology can provide the rurally based agriculture trade, income-earning break, new farmer-friendly agro-policy development and implementation (Maglinets, Raevich and Tsibulskii, 2017). With the help of technology and social support by government and organizations, farmers can take advantage and make their live prosperous (Hua, 2015). However, the momentum of change in cultivation impacts the difference in production of agriculture (Eberhardt and Vollrath, 2016). So, the only systematic use of information and communication technology (ICT) can lead the significance of productive farming (Salampasis and Theodoridis, 2013). Moreover, several previous studies suggest the different factors need to consider before implementing the technology in agriculture (Khalil Moghaddam and Khatoon-Abadi, 2013). Technology not only helps to grow economy but also open many opportunities for farmers to do their own business for better future in the socio-economic development of a developing country. Research by Far S. and Rezaei-Moghaddam, K. (2017), imply the concept of precision agriculture, which help farmers to manage the natural resources and identify the product analysis. Precision agriculture works on a regularly updated and specified information system of knowledge on the agricultural farms (Far and Rezaei-Moghaddam, 2017). This research also introduces a socio-technical theory and relevancy between socio-technical system and process of implementation of the information and communications technologies (ICTs) in agriculture development. The socio-technical approach identifies the knowledge and skills to maintain the system sustainably (Cherns, 1976). All social and technical behaviour factors are the critical aspect to efficiently delivery of decision making data to farmers for sustainable development of the farming system (Jhamtani and Rao, 2004). Furthermore, socio-technical provides a multilayer design to examine the performance and issue of actors in an organization. It also emphasis to consider an interlinked actors behaviour within the organization (Bostrom and Heinen, 1977). However, according to Adman, P. and L. Warren (2000), the implementation of an ICT system often leads to organizational and individual challenges. Hence user adoption and implementing the usage of ICT systems becomes challenging for many organisations.

As this research shows adoption of ICT on Socio-technical theory, there is some limitation related to other methods. Furthermore, one limitation of this study is related to the Unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT). The UTAUT entails the user motive to use an information system and behaviour during the use of the system, which significantly helps to understand the intention of acceptance of information system (Venkatesh et al., 2003). Hence, further study could this research by applying the UTAUT to understand the ICT adoption.


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