Call for papers – Special Issue: Impact of AgriTech 4.0 on Business and Society

Guest Editors
Dr. Manish Shukla, Durham University (
Prof. Sushil Gupta, Florida International University (
Prof. Nagesh Murthy, University of Oregon (
Dr Gyaneshwar Singh Kushwaha, MANIT, India (
Mr Shivam Swarup, MANIT, India (

The recent technology innovations including cloud computing, big data, Internet-of-Things, Blockchain, Satellite, and, Drones can be categorized under Fourth Industrial Revolution or as Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 has shown great potential to address pressing issues in Business and Society. These innovations have created opportunities for a huge amount of data collection, visualization, analysis, and decision-making.  Agri-tech 4.0 can be defined as the application of Industry 4.0 concepts to address agri-food challenges on the current time. Some of the early use-cases include remote-sensing, end-to-end traceability, precision agriculture, etc. There is also a potential to use multiple technologies to create high impact products or services. For Example, Blockchain and RFID enabled IoT devices could help in traceability mechanisms for well-organized supply chains (Laosirihongthong, Punnakitikashem and Adebanjo 2013). Real-time big-data analysed and shared via mobile-applications can help in the forecasting the weather conditions to help farmers in assessing the demand for different produces. Drones, Satellites, and sensors can be used to collect farm data without troubling the farmers. 

Agri-food supply chains are characterized by millions of small-holder farmers on one end and billions of consumers on the other end linked by fragmented transportation and information networks controlled by intermediaries (Shukla and Jharkharia, 2013).  These supply chains are currently inefficient to feed around 7 Billion people and are supposed to feed another 2 Billion by 2050(Béné, Barange, and Subasinghe, 2015). In addition to food and drinks, many of the factory made products such as cosmetics, toiletries, hygiene products, apparel, dyes, tyres, cushions, shoes, textile, packaging material, etc. are directly or indirectly dependent upon agri-food supply chains (Bai and Sarkis, 2019). The challenges in agri-food are significantly different due to seasonality of production, weather dependence, and perishability of the produce, multiple stakeholders, and involvement of governments (Bai and Sarkis, 2019). Moreover, agri-food supply chains significantly influence sustainable development goals due to the land and labour involved in farming (Almasi, Khoshfetrat and Galankashi, 2019). 

The world around us is changing significantly and so are the consumers. They don’t just want to know the price and origin of their food, but also its entire journey, environmental and social impact, etc (Hahn, 2012). Today’s consumers are aware and are seeking these answers from the companies such as retailers, food chains, and food processors. There have been numerous consumer and NGO campaigns for produce such as soya, palm oil, coffee, cocoa, tea, etc. The major issues include deforestation, child labour, modern slavery, living wage, co2 emissions, etc. In response to this, companies can adopt Agri-tech 4.0 technologies such as Block-chain, Satellite based remote sensing, big-data analytics (Saberi et al., 2019) to answer some of these questions. 

Efficient supply chains could result in better outcomes for the stakeholders and also help in achieving sustainable development (Azevedo, et al., 2012; Schoenherr and Talluri, 2012). A major differentiator could be application of agri-tech 4.0 on the existing supply chains such as food processing, beverages, etc. These could reap huge benefits from agri-tech 4.0. For example, Machine Learning based applications could help in quality procurement of required grains for large food processing companies (Hill, Zhang and Scudder, 2008). While cold storage solutions having high technological capability could have long-lasting effects for stakeholders in the dairy industry (Melvin and Baglee, 2008). It can also have a positive impact on the inventory management (Huang & Song, 2018) and waste disposal of products in timely manner resulting in healthy options for the end customers (Sun and Li, 2012). Agri-tech 4.0 could have major breakthroughs on the processes used by the existing supply chains. These innovative processes could, in turn, result in competitive advantages for all the stakeholders (Callaham, 1985).

All this could lead us to sustainable growths expected by governments and corporations alike (Du, Pan and Zuo, 2012). But the success stories are mostly isolated one-off experiments, which are not yet scaled. Moreover, the technologies are still in their early developmental stages and their potential needs to be fully explored. Thus, there is a need to identify the key challenges of future agri-food businesses and agri-food related issues of society and match it with a potential technological solution (Qingrui, Jingjiang and Jin, 2002).

The existing literature is mostly limited to addressing the drivers and limitations of Industry 4.0 adoption and frameworks for technology implementation. There is a lack of literature exploring the agri-tech 4.0 from theory application and theory development point-of-view. Agri-tech 4.0 coupled with sustainability concerns is making major strategic changes in the businesses as well as the society. These include major consumer movements, multi-national government interventions, re-structuring of supply networks, change in auditing and reporting standards, etc. (Metta and Badurdeen, 2012). This opens ample scope for applying existing theories to understand the underline phenomenon as well as to develop new theories to explain the changing landscape. 

The special issue aims to publish the best full papers in the emerging area of Agri-tech 4.0 to present the current status of the theoretical and practical developments in this area. We invite novel research, case studies, empirical and simulation based studies the share novel insights on the impact of Agri-tech 4.0 in shaping the current businesses and society. Themes relevant to this call, but not limited to: 

– The role of Agri-tech 4.0 in addressing supply risk management 
– Impact of Agri-tech 4.0 on achieving Sustainable Development Goals 
– How Agri-tech 4.0 will influence Partnerships and Networks in agri-food industry
– How Agri-tech 4.0 will impact the consumer perception and trust 
– Role of Agri-tech 4.0 during humanitarian crisis
– How Agri-tech 4.0 will impact the intermediaries
– Impact of Agri-tech 4.0 on risk and reward sharing
– Impact of Agri-tech 4.0 operational efficiency and post-harvest waste  

The focus of the manuscripts should be on cutting-edge theoretical developments and phenomena in the best practices. Manuscripts addressing real-life relevant problems using case studies will be particularly encouraged. Manuscripts should be submitted through the publisher’s online system. Submissions will be reviewed according to the journal’s rigorous standards and procedures through double-blind peer review by at least two qualified reviewers.

Submission Process: Please prepare the manuscript according to IEEE-TEM’s guidelines ( and submit it to the journal’s Manuscript Central site ( Please clearly state in the cover letter that the submission is for this special issue. 


  • Full paper Submission Deadline: Oct-2022
  • First Round of Review: Feb-2023
  • Second Round of Review: June-2023
  • Final Publication: Oct-2023


  • Almasi, M., Khoshfetrat, S. and Galankashi, M.R., 2019. Sustainable supplier selection and order allocation under risk and inflation condition. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.
  • Azevedo, S.G., Carvalho, H., Duarte, S. and Cruz-Machado, V., 2012. Influence of green and lean upstream supply chain management practices on business sustainability. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 59(4), pp.753-765.
  • Bai, C. and Sarkis, J., 2019. The Water, Energy, Food, and Sustainability Nexus Decision Environment: A Multi-stakeholder Transdisciplinary Approach. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.
  • Béné, C., Barange, M., Subasinghe, R., Pinstrup-Andersen, P., Merino, G., Hemre, G. I., & Williams, M. (2015). Feeding 9 billion by 2050–Putting fish back on the menu. Food Security, 7(2), 261-274.
  • Callaham, R.Z., 1985. Evaluating social benefits of forestry research programs. IEEE transactions on engineering management, (2), pp.47-54.
  • Du, W., Pan, S.L. and Zuo, M., 2012. How to balance sustainability and profitability in technology organizations: An ambidextrous perspective. IEEE Transactions on engineering management, 60(2), pp.366-385.
  • Hahn, R., 2012. Standardizing social responsibility? New perspectives on guidance documents and management system standards for sustainable development. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 59(4), pp.717-727.
  • Hill, C.A., Zhang, G.P. and Scudder, G.D., 2008. An empirical investigation of EDI usage and performance improvement in food supply chains. IEEE Transactions on engineering management, 56(1), pp.61-75.
  • Huang, J., & Song, J. (2018). Optimal inventory control with sequential online auction in agriculture supply chain: an agent-based simulation optimisation approach. International Journal of Production Research56(6), 2322-2338.
  • Laosirihongthong, T., Punnakitikashem, P., &Adebanjo, D. (2013). Improving supply chain operations by adopting RFID technology: evaluation and comparison of enabling factors. Production Planning & Control24(1), 90-109.
  • Melvin, A., & Baglee, D. (2008, June). Value stream mapping: A dairy industry prospective. In 2008 IEEE International Engineering Management Conference (pp. 1-5). IEEE.
  • Metta, H. and Badurdeen, F., 2012. Integrating sustainable product and supply chain design: modeling issues and challenges. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 60(2), pp.438-446.
  • Qingrui, X., Jingjiang, L. and Jin, C., 2002, August. Knowledge strategy: Toward to dynamically integrating technological innovation with knowledge management. In IEEE International Engineering Management Conference (Vol. 2, pp. 719-723). IEEE.
  • Saberi, S., Kouhizadeh, M., Sarkis, J., &Shen, L. (2019). Blockchain technology and its relationships to sustainable supply chain management. International Journal of Production Research57(7), 2117-2135.
  • Schoenherr, T. and Talluri, S., 2012. Environmental sustainability initiatives: A comparative analysis of plant efficiencies in Europe and the US. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 60(2), pp.353-365.
  • Shukla, M. and Jharkharia, S., 2013. Agri‐fresh produce supply chain management: a state‐of‐the‐art literature review. International Journal of Operations & Production Management. 33(2), pp. 114-158
  • Sun, Z. and Li, L., 2012. Opportunity estimation for real-time energy control of sustainable manufacturing systems. IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering, 10(1), pp.38-44.

Guest Editor Bios

Dr Manish Shukla is an Assistant Professor of Operations Management at the Durham University Business School, Durham, UK. His research interests include Agri/Food Value Chains, Sustainable Supply Chains, and Supply Chain Analytics & Big Data. He has published paper in prestigious international journals such as Production Planning and Control (PPC), International Journal of Production Research (IJPR), International Journal of Operations & Production Management (IJOPM), etc. His research has been recognized and awarded by a number of reputed international organizations. He has led a number of Agricultural Value Chain projects as Principle/Co-Principle Investigator. He was a Fulbright Fellow at SC Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University. 

Prof. Sushil Gupta is one of the founding members of the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS) and has played a key role in its initiation, development and growth. He is the executive director of POMS since 1997 and also serves on the advisory board of the POMS journal. His research interests include production scheduling, mathematical modelling, computer applications, and educational administration. He has published in top-ranking professional journals including Management Science, IIE Transactions, European Journal of Operational Research, International Journal of Production Research, Journal of Operational Research Society, Omega, Computers and Industrial Engineering, and Socio-Economic Planning Sciences. He is a co-author of “POMS – Production and Operations Management Software,” a software package published by Allyn & Bacon for an operations management course. 

Prof Nagesh Murthy is a Professor of Operations and Business Analytics and the Academic Director of the Center for Sustainable Business Practices at the University of Oregon, Lundquist College of Business. His research interests are in sustainable operations, supply chain management, new product development, and revenue management. His research has been published in Decision Sciences, Management Science, and the Journal of Operations Management, among others. He is also an associate editor for Decision Sciences.

Dr Gyaneshwar Singh Kushwaha is an Assistant Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management at MANIT, India. His research interests include Supply chain Management, Green Supply chain management, Agri and Food Supply Chain Management. Dr Kushwaha has published in several leading international journals and conferences. He is an active member of Operational Research Society of India (ORSI) and All India Management Association (AIMA). He is Editorial member of international journal “International Journal of Enterprise Computing and Business Systems”.

Mr Shivam Swarup is an Assistant Professor at MANIT, India. His research interest is in the area of technology application for agri-food supply chains. Mr Swarup has a very strong technical background and a first-hand experience of technology application across a number of sectors. He has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from RGTU, India and a master’s degree in business administration from Texas Tech University. 

IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management is a journal of the Technology and Engineering Management Society of IEEE, published quarterly since 1954. It is dedicated to the publication of peer-reviewed original contributions, by researchers and practitioners, regarding the theory and practice of engineering, technology, and innovation management.

Editor in Chief

Tugrul U Daim, PhD PICMET Fellow
Professor and Director
Technology Management Doctoral Program
Department of Engineering and Technology Management
Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science
Portland State University, Portland OR
United States

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