Digital control: how Big Tech moves into food and farming (and what it means)

By GRAIN on Jan. 21, 2021in Perspectives

The world’s biggest technology companies and distribution platforms, such as Microsoft and Amazon, have started entering the food sector. What does this mean for small farmers and local food systems?

This is leading to a strong and powerful integration between the companies that supply products to farmers (pesticides, tractors, drones, etc) and those that control the flow of data and have access to food consumers. On the input side, agribusiness are joining the trend of getting farmers to use their mobile phone apps to supply them with data, on the basis that they can give ‘advice’ to the farmers. On the output side, big e-platform corporations can be seen buying their way into the sector and taking control of food distribution.
A new GRAIN report looks at how Big Tech is already promoting industrial agriculture and contract farming, and undermining agroecology and local food systems, through its development of digital agriculture platforms. As the report shows, the consequences are set to be particularly severe for small farmers in the Global South.

Read the full report at: https://grain.org/e/6595

First published by GRAIN

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