Big Data and Agricultural Supply Chains: Opportunities for Increased Food Security

TitleBig Data and Agricultural Supply Chains: Opportunities for Increased Food Security
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsTsiolias, D, Keramydas, C, Iakovou, E, Vlachos, D
EditorBlecker, T, Kersten, W, Ringle, CM
Title of ProceedingsOperational Excellence in Logistics and Supply Chains
Conference LocationHamburg
ISBN Number978-3-7375-4056-8
Other NumbersISSN (print) 2365-4430, ISSN (online) 2365-5070
KeywordsAgricultural Supply Chains, Big Data, Food Security, Sustainability

Today’s interconnected digital world with its multitude of data-collecting devices
and means along with augmented data processing capabilities has unlocked new
possibilities for increasing the efficiency of contemporary agricultural supply chains,
including production, processing and distribution operations. Furthermore, issues
such as climate change, global population increase, the rise of alternative energy
sources, agricultural technological advances, and shifting consumer dietary preferences
have been reshaping the global contemporary food management landscape.
These factors, in conjunction with the limited availability of arable land, present
challenges regarding the availability, accessibility, utilization, and stability of food
worldwide. We present an up-to-date critical synthesis of the most acute challenges
of food security and provide a first effort at identifying ways in which big data could
help alleviate them. Specifically, satellite imagery and data, groundwater monitoring,
the Internet-of-Things (IoT), viewing advantages through the use of drones, updated
global atlases, as well as regional and crop yield mapping, precision agriculture,
demand prediction accuracy, and the ease-of-use of terminals such as
smartphones and tablets are some of the tools of the information age that demonstrate
great potential towards increasing the efficiency and competitiveness of food
chains worldwide and, ultimately, ensuring food security.