The use of information and communication technologies in the agribusiness sector in Egypt
The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have been developed in the last decades and since its functionality and uses, have increased tremendously, in many sectors and they become fundamental in our life today. It is a main part of almost every activity, product, and service in our lives. Therefore, the use of ICT in agribusiness is not an exception. On the other hand, Agribusinesses are the most vital businesses in the human life. Therefore, the introduction of ICT technology in agribusiness is a determinantal activity for the prosperity and well living of any society. The use of ICT is seen in the diffusion of mobile coverage in rural areas, precision agriculture and data analytics services that have allowed managers to better understand and operate their businesses. The literature review of the studies and articles that covered the subject, revealed that there are many applications, tools and services utilizing the ICT to support agricultural sectors in many countries. These applications are many, such as use of satellite-based solutions, mobile services in information and communication, financial solutions based on technological aspects, tools in management and communication in the business environment, etc. The study of the literature has covered cases from Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia for national initiatives that have employed ICTs to support the agricultural sector starting from offering agricultural extension and advisory services, which are some of the common uses of ICTs in agriculture that are taking the form of rural radio, SMS, mobile based solutions, agricultural insurance system, collective purchasing and sales over ICTs tools and services. Therefore, it is of great value to the Egyptian society and to the decision makers, to identify and assess the effectiveness of the uses of ICT in agribusinesses in Egypt. These will result in enhancing the awareness and hence the uses of the ICT in the Egyptian agricultural sector. In this respect, the objectives of this research work are many folds. First, to identify the different uses of the ICT and the technologies that can be used in agribusinesses which are applied successfully in many countries. Second, to explore the response of the business owners and senior agribusiness managers to the use, awareness, and perceptions of these technologies in their businesses. Third, to recommend possible solutions to develop further these uses. The study covered a perception analysis of respondents on the adoption of precision agriculture, Internet of Agricultural Things (IOAT) and modernization of agricultural practices via digital transformation. This research work identifies and assesses the uses and areas of development needed to develop the agribusiness sector in Egypt. The study focused only on export directed agribusiness. This is because the owners of such companies can afford the investment in ICT equipment and are normally well educated. The gathered sample covered decision makers, consultants and employees of firms in the field of agriculture in Egypt. This segment represents an important layer in the agricultural sector in Egypt and illustrates key directions to work with agroindustry sector and rural communities. Therefore, the support of information and communication technologies will be of great help to boost their businesses. The primary data collection has resulted in key interventions and insights that are gathered from the survey results. This included the availability of satellite-based technologies in Egypt but are limited to the governmental use and not for companies. Major dependence on mobile based services in communication, advisory and extension services that are either via calls, SMS, internet accessibility, and YouTube. WhatsApp is one of the important communication applications that are used by the respondents of this study and they are using it in their daily communication with suppliers, clients, markets, and colleagues. An intervention model has been designed to illustrate different actors in the domain of ICT in agribusiness which are, policy makers, researchers, service providers and business owners. The perception of respondents towards employing some of the ICTs tools and services varies between acceptance and rejection while majority of them see that the ICTs can play a significant role in the development of the agribusiness sector in Egypt. © 2020 Towards the Digital World and Industry X.0 - Proceedings of the 29th International Conference of the International Association for Management of Technology, IAMOT 2020. All rights reserved.