5G in agri-food - A review on current status, opportunities and challenges

Mireille van Hilten*, Sjaak Wolfert

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Autonomous tractors, spraying drones, robotics and fully autonomous farms are possible outcomes of the digital transformation trend in agriculture and food systems which is fostered by continuous technological advancement and the increasing connectivity capacity. These futuristic scenarios will be unlocked by 5G connectivity, the next step after 4G, because it enables high data transfer volumes and low latency which can lead to many beneficial outcomes for technology applications in agri-food, such as Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain. Considerable progress is seen in the 5G ecosystem around the world, from South Korea to Australia and Europe. This review presents the opportunities and challenges of 5G in agri-food. The six most compelling use cases of 5G in agri-food at this moment from different parts of the world are in Brazil, the Netherlands, South Korea and the United Kingdom. The future of 5G in agri-food will depend on a number of enabling factors including interoperability, data governance and security, new business models, policy changes, and innovative ecosystems. The baseline scenario of connectivity and infrastructure for a region or country is determined by the dimensions of 5G aggregation-, cyber physical management- and decision-making levels, which guide future 5G applications in agri-food. Agriculture technology collaboration across the private and public sector and ecosystem development are the first steps for all countries to make progress towards large scale uptake of 5G in agri-food.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107291
JournalComputers and Electronics in Agriculture
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • 6G
  • Agriculture
  • Connectivity
  • Digital transformation
  • Food systems

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