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Digital highway for growers

23 November 2017
Today, Cosun, Avebe and Agrifirm signed a collaboration agreement to promote the safe and efficient exchange of data in the agricultural sector. Cosun and Avebe plan to join the Cooperative JoinData in the first quarter of 2018. JoinData, of which Agrifirm is already a member, is developing a digital highway (data hub) for the agricultural sector. Sharing data is the first step in the development of smart applications. The farmer's cultivation plan is the focal point.

Improving yield and quality
The use of large quantities of data in agriculture or ‘smart farming’ offers growers the possibility to further increase yields. Smart applications can be developed by sharing data directly from the field in a safe manner. Farmers can use these applications to support their cultivation decisions with large quantities of real-time data. For instance, they can use this to accurately determine the optimal times for tillage, sowing and crop protection. Better cultivation decisions result in a better product quality and a higher yield per acre and contribute to the improvement of the farmer's financial result.

Solving sustainability issues
Sharing data and the broad approach cultivation plan also contribute to solving sustainability issues in agriculture. For example, with smart applications that help growers improve the quality of the soil, carry out a well-balanced fertilisation programme, and make optimal use of crop protection products.

Secure data position for growers
Central to the data hub of JoinData is the farmer. He remains the owner of his own data and decides with whom this data may be shared and for which purpose. Data is not stored, it is only transmitted. This means that the data from the field will not be owned by commercial parties, thus the independent entrepreneurship of the participating growers is guaranteed. JoinData endorses the Gedragscode Datagebruik Akkerbouw, a code of conduct of the Dutch Sector Organisation BO Akkerbouw.

Pilot projects
The next step is to adjust the data hub to make it suitable for specific data flows used in arable farming. At the same time, joint pilot projects will be defined in which, together with farmers, data sharing and the development of grower specific applications are put into practice.