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More than two decades of research on IoT in agriculture: a systematic literature review

Cevdet Bulut (Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, UK)
Philip Fei Wu (Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, UK)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 2 May 2023

Issue publication date: 21 May 2024




Agriculture is one sector where the Internet of things (IoT) is expected to make a major impact. Yet, its adoption in the sector falls behind expectations. The purpose of this paper is to present the state-of-the-art of IoT in agriculture and investigate its slow adoption in the sector.


The authors have undertaken a systematic review and a synthesis of 1355 relevant publications over the last decade.


This literature review reveals that the “big three” barriers for the overall sector are cost, skills and standardization. The lack of connectivity and data governance are two key reasons why most of the proposed IoT solutions are standalone systems of limited scope, while the majority of commercial IoT efforts focus on practices in the protected indoor environment. Lastly, the analysis of past research along the five layers of the IoT system architecture reveals limited attention to barriers and solutions at the business layer, which represents a research opportunity for information systems scholars.

Research limitations/implications

It is possible that some of relevant publications were missed in the literature search, although the search queries were kept as broad as possible to avoid the exclusion of any relevant work. Any publication written in any other language other than English was excluded from the review. Given the geographical distribution of the reviewed English publications (see section 4.1), it is highly likely that important works written by Chinese and European scholars in their native language were overlooked.

Practical implications

This study provides practical insights into the technical and organisational challenges on the ground. It is the hope that this literature review lays the groundwork for IS researchers who are well positioned to investigate technology adoption challenges in the relatively understudied agriculture sector.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first comprehensive review of adoption barriers and solutions across all five layers of the IoT system architecture.



This manuscript is a revised and expanded version of a paper entitled “IoT Adoption in Agriculture: A Systematic Review” published at the 28th Americas Conference on Information Systems, 2022.


Bulut, C. and Wu, P.F. (2024), "More than two decades of research on IoT in agriculture: a systematic literature review", Internet Research, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 994-1016.



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