The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) shut down its activities in December 2020 at the end of its mandate. The administrative closure of the Centre was completed in November 2021.
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Oct 14

Online course: Farm data management, sharing and services for agriculture development

Online course: Farm data management, sharing and services for agriculture development

Event Overview

The course aims to strengthen the capacity of farmers’ organisations, data producers and data consumers to manage, use and share data in agriculture. It aims to raise awareness of different types of data formats, data rights and applications, and to highlight how important it is for data to be reliable, accessible and transparent for innovation and development of agriculture.

There is an exponential growth in data accompanying the digitalisation of agriculture through the proliferation of mobile technology, remote sensing technologies and distributed computing capabilities among others. The effective management of this data will open up new opportunities to better the lives and livelihoods of smallholder farmers by lowering cost and reducing information asymmetries.

This course builds on the content and experience of the GODAN Action online courses - “Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition”, which has been offered since November 2017 and has trained over 4,400 participants. The Farm Data Management, Sharing and Services for Agriculture Development online course will focus on strengthening the skills of professionals who use, manage data for the benefit of farmers and farmers organisations. The course explores the importance of data in the agriculture value chain and how new and existing technologies, products and services can leverage farm level and global data to improve yield, reduce loss, add value and increase profitability and resilience.

Who should apply?

This online course will support the work of professionals involved in using or managing data services for the benefit of farmers and farmers organisations. These professionals work in a wide range of organisations, including international organisations, donor agencies, multilaterals, NGOs, academic and research institutions, universities, national or local governments.

The main target audience groups include:

  • Those who are involved in farmers’ organisations as administrators or staff i.e. those collecting farmer data and managing the data; and
  • Development practitioners and technology providers, who, in addition, assist farmers’ organisation setting up farmer profiling and creating data services.

What do you get from this course?

The course creates awareness of data on and for farmers as well as the products and services that have become a growth area, driving expectations and investments in ICT4Ag including e-extension, precision agriculture and digital financial services. The course furthermore highlights shared data principles, including FAIR and open data conceptual frameworks, while also emphasising the legal and responsible ethical considerations for data rights and protections.

Participants are expected to spend on average eight hours per week completing lessons and engaging in activities such as discussion forums and webinars.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the value of data, the different types and sources of data and identify the type of services that data enables in agriculture
  • Understand how data is used and generated in the value chain
  • Understand the challenges and risks that smallholders face when sharing data
  • Understand the strategies related to farmer profiling
  • Understand how and where to find open data
  • Apply data analysis and visualisation techniques
  • Understand the legal and policy aspects when dealing with farmers’ data sharing
  • Understand the basics of licencing, copyright and database rights

What is in the course?

Unit 1: Data, services and applications will cover the topics of value of data in agriculture to support farmers, increase their income and develop food production; digital farmer profiling and the strategies to design business model for profiling.

Unit 2: Data sharing principles will focus on the topics of principles and benefits of open data; the potential of using and publishing data in agriculture; responsible data sharing practises for farm data; ethical and legal sensitivities of data-driven services; and data protection.

Unit 3: Using data will guide you on how and where to find open data; data quality elements, analyse, data analysis and visualisation.

Unit 4: Exposing data will cover the topics of conceptual frameworks for sharing data; and the ways to make data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable.

Watch to learn more about the course content

How to apply?

The course is free of charge and is offered in 4-week period in English. It will take place twice in two editions, one starts in October and second starts in November before the end of the year. The date of preference for the applications can be indicated is requested on the registration form:

  • session from first edition:14 October to 10 November 2019;
  • session from second edition: 18 November to 15 December 2019.

To apply for the courses, please complete this registration form.

Certificate of attendance will be provided for those who take the End of Course Exam and pass it. Certificates can only be provided electronically.

For further information, please contact us at


  • CTA

    The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). Its mission is to advance food security, resilience and inclusive economic growth in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific through innovations in sustainable agriculture. CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.

  • FAO

    Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO's three main goals are: the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; the elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all; and, the sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, including land, water, air, climate and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations.

  • PAFO

    PAFO is a network of Farmers Organizations across the African continent. It's aim is to improve communication, collaboration and information/knowledge sharing among stakeholders. Through PAFO, the sub-regional networks of farmers’ organizations and agricultural producers of the Maghreb (UMAGRI), of the Southern Africa (SACAU), of Central Africa (PROPAC), of the Eastern Africa (EAFF) and of West Africa (ROPPA), are working together since 2003 on continental issues of interest having a significant impact on African agriculture.