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Summary of Discussions: Week 2 of the e-Forum on ICTs and Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition

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The second week of the e-forum discussion on ICTs and Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition continued with participants sharing examples and case studies on open data in agriculture.


The question for week 2 was:

What is the potential for open data in agriculture and nutrition? Does open data benefit and damage farmers, especially smallholder family farmers, women and the youth in developing countries? What case studies can demonstrate the benefits and/or damages of the use of ICTs and Open Data?

Summary of contributions

The Global Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative together with the Open Data Institute (ODI) published a series of 14 case studies that show how open data can be useful in different stages of agricultural processes. These cases highlight specific ways in which open data can solve practical problems such as enabling more efficient and effective decision-making, fostering innovation that everyone can benefit from and driving organizational and sector change through transparency. Participants also shared some interesting developments in Nigeria,Kenya and India.

Boniface Akuku shared case study on the potential benefits of ICTs and Open Data through the case of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) in Kenya. He noted, "The case of ASAL Knowledge hub provides evidence to the fact that ICT and open data plays a significant role in AR4D particularly in the development of virtual open platforms such as “the ASAL knowledge hub”.

Vasilis Protonotarios stated “ we have all the components out there, such as the open data, the applications and ICT tools, the developers, the SMEs that work on data-powered solutions and of course the expected end users. What we need is to provide the mean for connecting all these different parts and stakeholders so that we will manage to come up with meaningful outcomes for the end users, providing added value to the open data and the efforts of those working with them

Simone Sala from FAO brought an interesting example forward, showing how data can become a “value” to farmers to receive something else in return such as technical advice or access to credit.  As this kind of business models could rise in the future, there is a need to look at regulation of the environment and the strengthening of capacities of the farmers. 

Olivia Davis from GODAN pointed out some of the negative impacts in the use of ICTs and Open Data could have for agriculture and nutrition if long term sustainability is not taken into account and if the open data principle or the goal of equal impact does not exist. 

Chipo Msengezi from CTA shared the links to the 14 cases curated by GODAN and Open Data Institute (ODI)


Specific examples and cases 

The following cases and examples were shared by participants in the course of discussions in Week 1 and Week 2:-

  1. GroVentures (Simone Sala)
  2. Fit Uganda
  3. eGranary Project
  4. AGMARKNET
  5. Edo AgriHub (EDAH)
  6. The Citizens Club
  7. The case of ASAL in Kenya
  8.  Plantix.net

You can still submit your cases by clicking here

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