Overcoming the Dystopia of Digital Exploitation in the Agro Industry


Hatched by Thati

Feb 08, 2024

2 min read


Overcoming the Dystopia of Digital Exploitation in the Agro Industry

The rise of digital platforms in the agro industry has brought about numerous changes, both positive and negative. On one hand, it has opened up new opportunities for farmers and producers to connect with consumers and improve their efficiency. On the other hand, it has also led to the exploitation of low-income workers, particularly those who are racialized and gendered. In São Paulo, for example, 71% of platform delivery workers are black.

The temporalities and spatialities of digital work also play a significant role in shaping the conditions of work in the agro industry. The design of these platforms, with their emphasis on speed and productivity optimization, has created a culture that is deeply rooted in the capitalist logic of value creation. This has further perpetuated the subordination and exploitation of workers.

However, it is important to note that this gig economy model, characterized by precarity and informality, is not unique to the agro industry. In fact, it reflects the broader context of the Brazilian economy, where gig work has become the norm for the working class. This systemic exploitation has marginalized and perpetuated the conditions of those living on the periphery.

In order to overcome the dystopia of digital exploitation in the agro industry, it is crucial to address these issues holistically and implement sustainable solutions. Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Prioritize sustainable and regenerative agriculture: Embracing practices that promote sustainable land management and regenerative agriculture can help mitigate the negative impacts of digital exploitation. This includes implementing technologies and techniques that reduce the use of harmful chemicals and promote biodiversity.
  • 2. Foster collaboration and cooperation among producers: By encouraging connectivity and cooperation among producers, we can create a more inclusive and equitable agro industry. This can be achieved through knowledge sharing, capacity building programs, and creating platforms for collaboration.
  • 3. Embrace technology for positive change: While technology has been a source of exploitation, it can also be a powerful tool for positive change. By leveraging the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, we can develop innovative solutions that improve productivity, resource management, and reduce the carbon footprint of the agro industry.

In conclusion, the agro industry must confront the dystopia of digital exploitation by addressing the intersecting issues of race, class, gender, and the gig economy. By prioritizing sustainable practices, fostering collaboration among producers, and embracing technology for positive change, we can create a more equitable and sustainable future for all stakeholders in the agro industry.

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