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Creating impact with data

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Data and services derived from weather data have a high potential to enhance support for smallholder farmers in taking operational decisions on farm management. CTA is supporting a series of events under the Data4Ag initiative relating to blending open and closed data use for Agriculture and nutrition, from 20-24 November 2017.

The Data4Ag Week aims to build the awareness of farmers and farmers’ organization, extension agents, advisors and policy-makers and other intermediaries, in order to create more impact for smallholders’ farmers through data. It will consist of a series of workshops and trainings to encourage the use of open data for agricultural transformation in Africa.

20-24 November 2017, South Africa - Training Course and Symposium on “Farmers' Access to Data”

GFAR, with support from CTA and GODAN, will conduct a training course and host a symposium on Farmers' Access to Data from 20 to 24 November 2017 in Pretoria, South Africa. The training course, organized by local partners ITOCA, will focus on farmers’ rights to data, both in terms of access to data and ownership of data. The training course will be followed by a symposium on 24 November 2017. The event will bring together farmers and farmers’ organizations, extension agents, advisors to discuss on smallholder farmers’ access to data and their uses.

The symposium will give opportunities for collaboration and networking within the different data value chain actors.

21 November 2017, Netherlands - Using weather data to support smallholder agriculture in Africa (workshop)

CTA will host a one-day workshop to bring the collective knowledge of actors across the weather data value chain to help document the challenges and opportunities for open weather data for agriculture and nutrition- with a focus on developing countries. Under discussion will be the open weather data ecosystem in developing countries, the role of open data principles and the potential benefits resulting from the application of meteorological/weather services to agriculture. The aim is also to discuss potential business models for weather data and options for scaling up as well as identifying the skills and capacity gaps to use weather data.

The outcomes of the workshop will feed into the activities of the workshop on 22 November.

22 November 2017, Netherlands - Creating Impact for Smallholders with Weather Data (workshop)

The Ministry of Economic Affairs, GODAN Action, CTA and Wageningen University & Research will host a workshop on creating impact for smallholders with weather data on 22 November 2017.

This workshop will provide a platform for weather data value chain actors to discuss and map together the landscape of current (open) weather data uses in agriculture and nutrition. Thus, it will help document the challenges and opportunities for open weather data for agriculture and nutrition.

23 November 2017, Netherlands - The value of farm data: Farmer-representing organisations and farmer-owned data (workshop)

This workshop, hosted by CTA, will share the experiences of working with agri-enterprises in supporting services built on data use. It will also explore potential opportunities and challenges for services using data in an agri-enterprise and to suggest interventions. Finally, discussion around business models supporting services built on data use will be addressed. 

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Data-driven products and services for farmers organisations

Collecting and analysing data, and presenting information that smallholders can understand and act on will be key to advancing agriculture in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. Farming associations and agri-enterprises already provide members and customers with information and advice on crops, markets and finance. The contact systems farm groups and businesses have in place could be leveraged to deliver tailored information to smallholders.

Open data for smallholder weather information services

There is a range of current weather information that are available on the internet. Ready access to ‘open weather data’ means that there is a huge potential for embedding weather information into a variety of web and mobile applications that would be helpful to smallholder farmers. In November 2017, CTA brought together practitioners, policy makers and academics in The Hague to explore practical and strategic challenges in adapting open weather data for applications that smallholder farmers could exploit to drive productivity.

WIBDI Farm-to-table data management

Information and communication technology (ICT) has gained significance in recent years in the agricultural and educational sectors of developing countries. ICT and Knowledge Management tools are helping Women in Business Development Inc. (WIBDI) to manage the establishment and growth of a national Organic Farm-to-Table Academy in Samoa.

Electronic Membership Data Management System for farmers' organisations

The Swaziland National Agricultural Union (SNAU) and Lesotho National Farmers' Union (LENAFU) are building a new digital system that will allow verifiable membership and enhance standing of farmers' organisations as a source of data on farmers.

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