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Publication | 3 March 2021

Issues around data governance in the digital transformation of agriculture

Global Food and Nutrition Security

Agricultural data and their use for better decision-making and innovation are at the core of the digital transformation of agriculture. But fragmented and unclear data governance arrangements have raised concerns in some farming communities about the regulatory environment governing the data collected on and about farms, potentially affecting farmers’ willingness to adopt digital solutions. This, in turn, may reduce the availability and accessibility of agricultural data that are valuable for agricultural policymaking, for the agricultural innovation system, and for the development of services for the sector. Reflecting this, a key challenge for policy makers lies in finding a balance between protecting the privacy and confidentiality of agricultural data, and farmers’ economic interests in that data, while making it possible to leverage their potential for the sector’s growth and innovation.

This report focuses on farmers’ concerns around access, sharing and use of agricultural data and explores whether and how existing policy frameworks and other sectoral initiatives help or could help to foster greater trust.