Hartpury Digital Skills Framework in Agriculture

The story so far From the agricultural revolution in Neolithic times we have moved into a fourth industrial revolution which will again transform agriculture. The first industrial revolution is characterised by the move from hand to machine production powered by steam and water. The second saw electricity and networks develop with the railways and telegraphic communication. The third, the digital revolution, was driven by digital technology and computers in production and communication. Now the fourth industrial revolution is driven by data, the cloud, automation, robotics and artificial intelligence, with rapid advances in communication and connectivity. In his book The Fourth Industrial Revolution (2016), Klaus Schwab highlights that it is the fusion of the new technologies and their interaction across the physical, digital and biological domains that make the fourth industrial revolution fundamentally different from previous revolutions.

Agriculture is responding positively to the opportunities that emerge from this fusion and interaction. Breakthroughs in nutrition, genetics, satellite imaging, remote sensing, meteorology, precision farming, and low-impact farming are reshaping our industry. The revolution taking place in agricultural science and technology is global and demands new skills now and for the future. Students and other people moving into agriculture will need new technical and digital skills if businesses are to successfully adopt and exploit new developments. “With the technological revolution that is happening, the skills of the farming workforce need to keep pace. New technologies require new abilities and today’s modern British farmer is a Swiss-Army-Knife of skills. An engineer, an environmentalist, a data scientist, a biochemist, an energy producer, a tourism entrepreneur, and an investor too.” UK Business Secretary




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Digital Skills Framework in Agriculture

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