Issues around farmers’ rights to data, both in terms of access to data and ownership of data, are crucial to one of the key areas of activity of GFAR: the opening of access to information systems for sharing, transforming and using agricultural knowledge, especially in light of GFAR’s overall approach to putting the smallholder farmer at the centre of innovation and seeking change in their lives.

GFAR has designed and convened a 
to be held in Johannesburg on 20-24 November 2017.

The event is co-funded by GODAN and CTA
and is organized by ITOCA.

The course is targeted to farmers and farmers’ associations’ representatives as well as other actors that have an intermediary role in the farm data value chain, like extension agents, advisors and providers of farm management information systems.

Unfortunately there are no more seats avaiable for the training. Registration is now closed. There are still seats avalable for the final symposium.

Read more also on the final day here (symposium, with separate registration).

The program of the training course is as follows:



Nov 20

Day 1

Introductions (Welcome, Goals, Intros, Logistics)

Agenda Review

What do we mean by agricultural data

Trends driving digital agricultural data

From data to knowledge; FAIR principles


Nov 20

Day 1 Afternoon

Existing data services for farmers (especially in Africa)

Availability and usability of key data for farmers

Nov 21

Day 2 morning

Exercise: Crop Planning

Use of data in farm management information systems (FMIS) / precision irrigation (including weather data)

Round Table Discussion

Nov 21

Day 2 afternoon

Data legal issues and Data Ownership

Data rights in Agriculture


Nov 22

Day 3 morning

Case Studies of South African data tools.

Overview of existing FMIS

Questions/Discussion: What Works; what is missing?

Nov 22

Day 3 afternoon

Mobile Apps Overview



Nov 23

Day 4 Morning

Digital Agriculture in the Value Chain

Explanation of Exercise

Break Out Group Work

Report Back


Nov 23
Day 4 afternoon

Final Q&A session, discussions, summary of key challenges for farmers and for intermediaries

Nov 24
Day 5



Our trainers are:

  • Dan Berne from Logom Ag Initiative (United States)
    Training coordinator
    Dan Berne is an independent consultant working at the nexus of water, food and energy. He leads the strategic planning work in the industrial agricultural irrigation market for the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), a non-profit organization focused on energy efficiency. Working with the non-profit group AgGateway, Dan leads the effort to develop a set of data standards and formats to convert data for use in precision irrigation and other water management programs.  He is an expert in standards development, business processes, market development and customer experience strategies.


  • Stephen Kalyesubula from iLabs@Mak Project of Makerere University (Uganda)
    Stephen is a graduate researcher at iLabs@Mak project-Makerere University-Kampala-Uganda and his research deals in developing of automated embedded systems in agriculture and health to promote sustainable development in Uganda. His key technological interests include; Data science, Artificial intelligence, Robotics and Internet of things. He is also a director for Youths in Technology and Development Uganda whose main mission is creating tech communities of practice where appropriate use of technology promotes sustainable development in Education, Agriculture and Health. His key responsibilities include; Promoting Agri-technology, Open data Team leader, Software Developer and a Poultry Farmer.
  • Nicolene Fourie from the Earth Observation Science & Information Technology of CSIR (South Africa)
    Nicolene is currently employed as a Principal Scientist: Geo-Informatics with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in the Meraka Institute.
    Her research portfolio include the deepening of the CSIR capability in Information science for spatial information governance and management models in support of Advanced Spatial Data Infrastructure, geospatial data processing and geospatial data custodianship. She is responsible for the formulation, development and implementation of the R&D strategies for information science for advanced spatial infrastructure.  In addition she is dedicating significant time to investigate the economic expression of spatial information governance and management activities along the development value chain.
  • Anneliza Collett from the Land Use and Soil Management Directorate of the DAFF (South Africa)
    Ms. Collett is a Production Scientist within the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in the Directorate: Land Use and Soil Management. She is responsible for the development and management of spatial information pertaining to the potential, suitability, use and state of the natural agricultural resource. Part of her responsibilities includes technical scientific advice and support to land use managers and the contribution towards spatial planning tools and relevant legislation. She is also involved in the compilation of norms and standards for the protection and management of agricultural land and the review of agricultural potential studies.
    Ms. Collett has a MSc degree where her thesis focussed on the demarcation and protection of agricultural land within the South African context, with special focus on the Gauteng province.

Registration for the training is now closed.

Read a summary of the training course here:


Monday, 20 November, 2017 to Friday, 24 November, 2017