New Ebook “Farm data management, sharing and services for agriculture development” is now published

Adobe Stock/Dusan Kostic

There is an exponential growth in data accompanying the digitalization of agriculture through the proliferation of mobile technology, remote sensing technologies and distributed computing capabilities. The effective management of data will open up new opportunities to better the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers by lowering cost and reducing information asymmetries. However, the lack of experience in data management or adoption of data driven services can limit the possibilities of digital transformation.

In this context, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has long experience in data management, curriculum development and training to produce a valuable introduction and foundation to farm data management. Farm data management is key to farmers’ organizations supporting better access to markets, finance and inputs. These changes could improve productivity, farmer’s livelihoods and resilience.

Data and information technology are revolutionizing agriculture, the transition is complex and difficult to manage. A new book published by FAO is designed to help farm administrators and organizations acquire the skills to collect data and use it for the benefit of their community.

The book “Farm data management, sharing and services for agriculture development” developed in partnership with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) and the Pan African Farmers Organization (PAFO) provides a guide to understand the value of data, the different types and sources of data and identify the type of services that data enables in agriculture. 

The objective of the book is to develop a set of training programs for farmers to create awareness on information and communication technologies (ICTs) in agriculture, based on the experience from the Global Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition Action Project (MTF / GLO/694/SDL)

This publication features the abundant content of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), with the objective to extend the audience to those interested in farm data management who were unable to attend the online course. The MOOC was an online course that provides the opportunity to disseminate information and knowledge and has a focus on strengthening the skills of professionals who use, manage data for the benefit of farmers and farmers organizations.

The book is aimed at those working in farmers’ organizations as administrators or staff, for example those collecting farmer data and managing the data, as well as development practitioners and technology providers who assist farmers’ organizations creating data services. 

The community at all levels in the agricultural domain can benefit from this book and build their own stories to tell from implementing some of the lessons learned.

This book is dedicated to Hugo Besemer, a colleague who actively supported information management for international development at FAO and whose work had an impact on thousands of information managers across the world.

The publication is also available online on the following platforms: