Commercialising digital services and scaling the API economy
Improving how APIs can leverage agricultural data to improve access for stakeholders across the food value chains to improve productivity, increase livelihoods, and reduce waste.
Much of the progression of modern agriculture has come about through the utilisation of informed methods and technology. For example, mechanised farming has decreased the amount of labour required to optimise yields. A highly functional agricultural system depends on a multitude of data – weather, soil, climate, and altitude information all contribute to an understanding of practices required to improve outcomes.
While vast quantities of data are collected, creating methods for farmers to access, analyse, and apply this data to their crops remains a challenge. Farmers may have shared anecdotal information for centuries, but have lacked access to accurate, and even predictive, information. This data is now available, but the challenge of sufficient analysis and getting this information into the hands of those who need it the most – the farmers – still exists. We must therefore create practical and affordable channels for farmers to get access to and derive value from this data. This can, for instance, be done through supporting the development of new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). By opening access to data, creating a common API and supporting the delivery to farmers, we can facilitate an app-driven economy where developers and companies compete to deliver the most value to farmers.
The challenge: How might we commercialise and scale APIs and digital platforms to enable greater access to agricultural data across the food system?