Embracing The 4th Industrial Revolution: A Provincial Case Study
The purpose of this paper was to showcase how a sub-national organ of state can embrace developments the 4th IR and empower the Agricultural Sector to capitalise on innovations.
A paper on 4th IR technologies, presented at IFMA’s 21st Congress, was taken as point of departure and three different strategic processes were followed to design appropriate interventions. In the first 4th IR was placed in context and in the second the implications for the Agricultural Sector of a post Covid-19 future was analysed.
As arid areas are often marginalised, the third strategic process exclusively focussed on the future of farming in these areas. It was found that implementation by the Department unwittingly started before the strategic processes was completed and a range of interventions using 4th IR technology were presented.
Agricultural drones are playing an important role and the four-pronged approach followed (becoming a legal operator, supporting pilots to become legal, embracing technology and stimulating drone-use by farmers) were discussed. In addition to drones, other initiatives towards the democratisation of 4th IR technologies were also examined.
Key words: 4th Industrial Revolution, drones in agriculture, government interventions