Here’s how the agricultural sector can solve its data problem

Agricultural data is complex and fragmented, and this limits the potential of digital technologies to help the sector. To harness the power of emerging technology, this data needs to be standardized.

The World Economic Forum aims to drive industry coordination on developing a common format for interchange of agricultural data.

Food and nutrition security, skewed distribution of farmer incomes, natural disasters and climate change are severely impacting the sustainability of agricultural systems across the globe. Policy reforms are needed to correct these distortions, but innovative emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, distributed ledger technologies, sensors and drones, can make a significant difference.

Emerging technologies need data, and it must be the right data, for the right purpose at the right time. This is how it can deliver maximum impact. Agricultural value chains comprise a complex system of stakeholders and activities. The enormity of the size and complexity of agricultural data, coupled with its fragmented nature, pose significant challenges to unlocking its potential economic value, estimated at $65 billion in India alone.