Day 4: Actions to be taken in 2018-2021 to ensure smallholder farmers benefit from agricultural data in the future

Day 4: Actions to be taken in 2018-2021 to ensure smallholder farmers benefit from agricultural data in the future

Moving to the present and near future: what actions should be taken in 2018-2021 to ensure smallholder farmers benefit from agricultural data? Which actors would you expect to take specific roles?

Example: if one of the policy changes identified is more institutional collaboration to improve the international, national and local governance of farmers’ data rights, which are the best ways and immediate steps to foster this now? Which actors should take these steps?

Actions à entreprendre en 2018-2021 pour assurer que les petits agriculteurs bénéficient des données agricoles à l'avenir.  

Passons au présent et au futur proche: quelles actions devraient être entreprises en 2018-2021 pour s'assurer que les petits agriculteurs bénéficient des données agricoles? Quels acteurs vous attendez-vous à jouer des rôles spécifiques? 
Exemple: si l'un des changements de politique identifiés est une collaboration plus institutionnelle pour améliorer la gouvernance internationale, nationale et locale des droits des données des agriculteurs, quels sont les meilleurs moyens et les mesures immédiates pour encourager cela? Quels acteurs devraient prendre ces mesures?  

Cuáles son las acciones que deben adoptarse del 2018 al 2021 para asegurar que los pequeños agricultores se beneficien de los datos agrícolas en el futuro?

Moviéndonos al presente y futuro cercano: Qué acciones deberían adoptarse en 2018-2021 para asegurar que los pequeños agricultores se beneficien de los datos agrícolas? Qué actores esperaría Usted asumirían roles específicos? 
Ejemplo: si uno de los cambios políticos identificados es más sobre colaboración institucional para mejorar la gobernanza internacional, nacional y local de los agricultores sobre sus derechos sobre los datos, cuáles son las mejores formas y pasos inmediatos para fomentar esto? Qué actores deberían seguir estos pasos?


G Kruseman
G KrusemanCIMMYTMexico

Finally, there are some early learnings about translating all we at the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture have learned and continue to learn about communicating in the cultural context of smallholder farmers. Moving together into the digital realm, in which small holders are participating. Bridging formal and informal knowledge, folksonomies with taxonomies/Ontologies, mediated by digital technology. A couple of good examples come from two of our Inspire awards: read more…

G Kruseman
G KrusemanCIMMYTMexico
  1. ILRI animal health experts interacting in a mix of English and Swahili within a Facebook chat group of around 30,000 farmers who share pictures and tips with each other;  read more…
  2. CIMMYT and VIAMO are developing user-centered design approach to develop and deploy interactive voice response (IVR) content in local languages with several types of participants in market systems. Read more...
G Kruseman
G KrusemanCIMMYTMexico

These are not formal 'consultations with smallholders about making data relevant', rather they are (presumably valuable) interactions with smallholders that generate data that can and should be used to generate more value. If we are not providing value the services will presumably not grow

Robert Katende
Robert KatendeEco Ventures InternationalUganda

We need to start by asking ourselves two fundamental questions:

  1. How did we get here? I mean really....how did we let things get to this state of affairs?And i think very many answers to this have been given. We ought to thoroughly document these facts and thoughts for reference and benchmarking.
  2. What do we already know? Which information does each of the stakeholders have? How can we start aggregating all this big data and processing it for consumption by all stakeholders, especially the smallholders, before we start creating a square wheel?

In my opinion this should be the beginning of the change process, moving from the known to the unknown. And, we must focus our efforts towards empoering the smallholder farmers to start DEMANDING for answers - actionable data, fairness, accountability, respect, etc. Until smallholder farmers start feeling comfortable to ask questions and to demand for answers, then e-agriculture will not solve issues of equity and inclusion. 



Ajit Maru
Ajit MaruIndependent ConsultantIndia

Let me try and answer your two questions.

1. How did we get here?

In my opinion we are in the very early phase of what Thomas Kuhn called a "Paradigm Shift" in agriculture and Agri-food Systems. We are shifting from Agriculture 3.0 to Agriculture 4.0 (See Internet for more information on Agriculture 4.0). Documenting and looking at the past will not help charting the future when there is a paradigm shift.

2. What do we already know?

In my opinion, as we go through this e-consultation and from my previous experience, very little in the context of this paradigm shift.  At the moment, most of what is stated are opinions, many a times romaticised. For example, of holding a view that a smallholder wants to continue to farm and would want his/her future progeny also to make farming their livelihoods. 

Foteini Zampati
Foteini ZampatiKuratorium für Technik und Bauwesen in der Landwirtschaft (KTBL)Germany

This online consultation showed that it is a very good opportunity for all of us
coming from different areas of expertise and knowledge to discuss ,exchange
opininos, information, also learn  and of course propose scenarios and if possible solutions, for the smallholder farmers in the data driven agriculture.

The 4th day of consultation is about which  actions to be taken in 2018-2021 to
ensure smallholder farmers benefit from agricultural data in the future.

In my opinion and I agree completely with Robert Katende before talking about the
future,we should think first about the present and current situation in
agriculture. How did we get here and what do we already know.

In order to give information to farmers first we must have it ourselves!

Studying case studies is very important, as very well pointed Simone van der Burg.I agree
100% and I think that only then we can see in practise which problems,needs and
gaps the farmers are facing  in their every day work.Then we can focus on best practises and solutions.

Leanne Wiseman also said that by studying  cases they discovered that there were very different attitudes in each industry to what data they needed to access and what data they wanted to share and how best to go forward.

These next years 2018-2021 we should focus on how we can transfer knowledge to
farmers about agriculture data,the benefits of it,their rigths.

We should be more informed about the national law in the developing countries about data in agriculture ,also it would be nice if we search the legislation in other countries about data such as in Germany(lawabout open data),South Korea (public data) and use it as a guide.And of course we should’nt forget the GDPR. Yes some of it may be not be applicable but I think that a lot should be taken into consideration (consent, data rights such portability right ,the right to object, codes of conduct, fines, transperancy).

The government of each country should get more involved by supporting financial and by law the establishment of any scenario of data sharing in agriculture,by collecting accurate farmer information so the farmer can have access (platforms). Governments should also adopt policies that oblige companies to ensure that smallholders actively participate and have a voice in every step of development of digital agriculture.That there is
legislation that protects the farmer’s rights.

“Organised data communities” should be developed as Thembani Malapela suggested.

The role of agricultural organisations should be more empowered by legislation in order to represent farmers to stakeholders and agribusinesses ,negotiating data access on their behalf and assure farmers interest when they are negotiating the terms of a contract.

As I already mentioned in day 1 there should be also concern about the contacts and their policies. There should be binding rules concerning contracts so the farmer could be more informed and  more protected.

Valeria mentioned the EU Code of conduct  that gives a good example of  how developing
'best practice'  in data sharing can help to build trust farmers and agri-businesses  to ensure that data sharing arrangements are more transparent and equitable.

Leane Wiseman also referred to the introduction of Unfair Terms legislation to protect smaller businesses against the terms and conditions imposed by larger companies by their use of standard form contracts that contain terms that are presented on a 'take it or leave it' basis eg with smart farming technologies - farmers enter into these contracts when software is downloaded or farm machinery is turned on. 

 Legal rights that guarantee open access, processes and some form of proprietary ownership should be given to small holder farmers, so that they no longer  consider digital technology as an “enemie”,but as something that they own and they can use and benefit from it.

I couldn’t akwoledge the importance and achievements but also the challenges of technology and more specific in agriculture. Besides that’s mostly  the purpose of this online consultation. It would be good to work on finding the possibilities and provide
safeguards such as blockchain by consulting ICT specialists, empowering farmers
to minimize risks.

During the online consultation someone posed the question if agricultural/farm data is
sufficient meritorious of a new indipendent treaty or the international shift
such as the GDPR are sufficient to provide coverage for the issues arising from
the increasing collection, aggragation and dissemination of agricultural data.

I found the question quite interesting. In my opinion now more than ever these next
years we should work more on legislation in national and international level, set
the legal framework and policies and provide the farmers the  knwoledge about their rights, the legal form of an agricultural organisation and their organised data communities, the information of a fair contract.