Thank you Thembani for reopening this thread. There are likely many contributions that governments can provide. I want to offer one possible collaborative model here that governments could put in place.
Specifically I think that we need to build micro clusters for innovation where stakeholders representing different interests or expertise can come together to design, build and test / validate innovations that can be put in front of funding organizations. This is based on the observation that many independent innovators don't get validation of their technologies because end users organizations do not get involved in pilots. In my experience innovations that would help knowledge workers in (for example) Call Centres or Hospitals do not pilot opportunties, in part becaue budgets or operating mandates of these organizations do not allow this. To my mind this is missed opportunity as many entrepreneurs have to go "away from home" to get testing opportunities. Overall this is a bigger hurdle than it needs to be and governments can get involved. The tasks for supporting micro cluster innovation could include those listed below;
The focus should be not just at a national level but also at a municipal civic government levels.
Some programs do exist - like this one in Canada, to permit trials of new and emerging technologies.
At the other end of the spectrum, as data providers, governments can provide universal open access to important data repositories. e.g. in the US vast Biotechnology related datasets are accessible https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ internationally in a number of formats and access protocols. From my perspective we should be provideing machine readable access to online agricultural data resources so they are discoverable and reusable. .
Just a few thoughts. I'll try and provide some more suggestions during the week.
I really thank Ajit for the point he made initially abaout these small farmers mainly the Small family farmers, Youths and local community farmers. I think much has already been said by the other e-forum members, but the truth still remain that most of the solutions provided above are Guired towards the production chain which is good but how about the market chain?
We shouldn't forget that one of the main objective for making the data open is because we want the farmers to also gain access to the generall market andbe able to sell theri produce to the market. So i think we have to tallk more on that because these farmers totally depend on this produce of theirs for their livelihood, so even if they produce mass quantities following the good Agricultural practice (GAP) it won't have much of an effect to these targeted population since we have solved a problem but not the problem we intended to solve.
Hence i will propose we have a little more talk towards the marketing of the produce on the side of the farmers. that is to say;
Where should the farmers sell?
Will the farmers receive their pay parkage on time?
How effective does the open data solve their problem/
With such questions being answered, i think it will be easier to solve the problem of open data in agriculture.
I can't support anything less than that, i think your point Chripsnp is very vital for the community and not just a local community but communities worldwide. I strongly endorce the idea.