Many thanks for your feedback and response to our idea. I have updated some of the information on our contribution to better reflect some of the questions you have raised. In addition to this I have responded below to a couple of your points:
What data helps farmers get more money for their yield and increase their yield? In its simplest form, the main benefit to farmers is that they will have access to an accurate, trustworthy outputs of their yields and will be able to link this directly for the price they are fetching at market. Increased transparency will highlight whether or not they are receiving a fair price at market and, as Digital Farm scales, aggregated data will provide information on market trends - showing where there are niches that can be exploited and allow farmers to receive the best price for their crops. Using Digital Farm, farmers will be able to track productivity and yields over time - thus allowing them to collect evidence to demonstrate and compare the efficacy of different interventions on their farms.
Is there a community formed? Do farmers also become experts that help other farmers? As an organisation our model is centered around recognising farmers as experts and creating both digital and face-to-face forums that allow them to share this information. Digital Farm will build upon on the communities created with the in-person, physical space of the Centre of Excellence, and digital platform, to strengthen farmers’ capacity in data collection and analysis.
How would farmers at scale be able to input what information they need? The idea is that the farmer-led design process would enable Digital Farm to provide a dashboard of information that farmers can actually use. At scale this information will need to be flexible enough to be useful to farmers operating in different crops/value chains, but also robust enough to provide accurate and reliable information - especially when aggregated. This means that farmers will be able to chose the information they need from a defined list of fields, to be included in their personalised dashboard.
Thanks again for your feedback, please let me know if you have any further questions.
Hi Tiffany, thanks so much for your comment. We're very excited about Digital Farm and we certainly feel that is could be a vital source of information to help farmers increase their productivity whilst mitigating food loss and spoilage.
As far as data integration goes, we are not clear on what precise data we will be collecting at this point. This will be defined by the needs of the farmers themselves and will increase in scope as we develop the project. We have started with small pieces of information centered around providing farmers with accurate information on things like the weight of crops and the price fetched for this at market. As we continue to work closely with farmers to discover what information would be of most use to them, we will begin scaling out to a core selection of data collection products that can provide this information in a way that is most easily understood and actionable. Then, as we scale up and begin to collect higher volumes of data, we will need to look at ways of effectively aggregating this information so that it has clear implications and use for smallholders.