Open Data For Agriculture

Staffwriter | ICT Update | June 1, 2013

Most of the research results published by agricultural researchers in academic journals are in English. As a result, the vast majority of farmers and extension workers in developing countries – who not speak English or often do not have access to libraries – cannot retrieve these research results. Information that would otherwise be useful to farmers is not reaching its potential beneficiaries.

To build a bridge between agricultural research and farmers, Philip Parker and his team at INSEAD, a business graduate school with campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, is developing Toto Agriculture with partners such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grameen Foundation, Farmer Voice Radio and Farm Radio International. Toto Agriculture is an online collection of localised agriculture-related information such as weather forecasts, soil health, planting tips and pest management. It is an agricultural content engine that uses more than 750 sources of agricultural knowledge to produce on-demand information in as many as 60 different formats.  

Most importantly, the combination of structured and unstructured data available in various formats – text, audio, video, calendar, charts and maps – on Toto Agriculture has also been translated into over 100 languages. [...]