Digitalization and Business Model Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture: A Service Ecosystem and Institutional Perspective

Project: PhD

Project Details


Digitalization of agriculture in recent times has resulted in a surge of providers of digital technologies for agricultural advisory and market information services to farmers and other actors in the agribusiness sector in Africa. Given the nature of agribusiness as an ecosystem, the providers and existing actors must begin to collaborate toward value co-creation and new market opportunities within the ecosystem. However, most providers are not able to scale up or sustain their business. Extant literature attributes this problem to the high prices of the services, the insufficient literacy level of the farmers, or the general resistance of farmers to adopt the services. Yet, current business models employed by the providers which can potentially hinder them from scaling up have received less attention in the existing literature. Besides the business models, the socio-technical factors such as the interaction and interdependences between the providers and other actors in the ecosystem, which can have a substantial impact on adoption, are not investigated in past studies. In addition, researchers have paid less attention to other socio-technical factors (e.g the services platforms and outputs, ability to access platforms 24/7 etc) and institutional drivers such as educational support, economic incentive and the need for regulatory compliance that influence the deployment of digital technologies for agriculture in Africa. Given these gaps in the literature, this study aims to understand how providers of digital technologies for agricultural advisory and market information services can sustain their business within the agribusiness ecosystem in the African context. To achieve this aim, the study will adopt a qualitative case study research grounded on a service ecosystem and institutional perspective. It will then use a sample of providers of digital technologies within the Ghanaian agribusiness ecosystem as the selected cases to address the research gaps.
Effective start/end date1/01/21 → …


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