Open Source (10)


As data becomes more and more abundant, so does yield for some farmers. At face value, it may seem strange to think that data is directly associated with more food and profit, but it is. As large farms collect data on their farms, they are able to use this information to give them insights to their soil, crop, assets, and workers. This is a great idea but creates a wide gap for small versus large farmers.

To amend this wide gap, such a thing exists as open source. If large farmers buy into the open source community as a means to share their data, then small farmers are able to benefit. I am in favor of open source, and naturally in favor of open source data. I do however, understand the initial pushback that exists.

I worked on a data-driven project for an AgTech start up and was unable to see all of their data. There seems to be a concern amongst AgTech professionals over proprietary data. As idealistic as the notion of open source data sounds, I certainly do not think it will be well received. I think that after AgTech companies become more established, then there will be less resistant to sharing their data freely.

I say this because I was unable to access the companies data in fear of business advantages. As much as I would want to help a small farmer get more data, I also understand the risks associated with smaller companies sharing data that they believe will make their business unique.

A good compromise might be for AgTech companies to share more trivial data. Though a company could simulate data, it is much better to have real data, even though it might be trivial.


One thought on “Open Source (10)

  1. Hi Anita,

    This is interesting, I to am working on a similar project and have had the same issue. The company won’t share their data. It’s troublesome in the sense that we can’t get a lot accomplished for the project with the real data, instead we have to simulate data. I agree that the idea of AgTech companies becoming open source will not be received well, but maybe one day.


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