Farmers, Market Participation and Open Data

Data and information are important for sustainable farming, meeting new challenges to agriculture and creating efficient market chains.

At the moment the main barrier to making data open for sharing and exchange is the lack of trust about equitable and fair use. This lack of trust is between countries, societies, communities and different groups of actors and users of agricultural, farming and food related data.


12 November 2004, Ghana - FAO project beneficiaries sorting tomatoes for sale at a local market. FAO Project: UTF/GHA/027/GHA - Special Programme for Food Security Phase I. The Objectives are to increase smallholders' productivity and improve household food security at selected sites representing the different farming/irrigation systems through sustainable use of improved agriculture technologies; Develop management capacities of farmers and farmers associations; Demonstrate, test and adjust a process for assisting farmers to benefit from improved technology on a sustainable basis. 12 November 2004, Ghana – FAO project beneficiaries sorting tomatoes for sale at a local market. 

Traditionally, farmers needed to know what to grow, when to grow, how to grow and where to grow. With agriculture the world over becoming increasingly market oriented, farmers now also need to know what market, when to market, how to market and where to market in addition to many other kinds of information for successful and sustainable farming.  Information is now also needed by different actors, especially governments and development agencies at national, regional and global levels to meet new challenges to agriculture such as for efficient land and water use, preventing desertification, managing spread of disease and pests, managing and compensating for farm disasters such as from drought, floods etc.

Data and information that farmers need

Most of the information farmers need now is primarily sourced as data from many different sources and…

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