Yara and IBM launch collaboration to advance sustainable food production

SWITZERLAND – Yara International, a crop nutrition and digital farming solutions provider has partnered with IBM to launch the Open Farm & Field Data Exchange, a collaboration for farm and field data that seeks to advance sustainable food production.

According to the companies, the open data exchange platform will facilitate collaboration around farm and field data, with the aim of improving the efficiency, transparency and sustainability of global food production.

In the recent past, it has been evident that technology and digital innovation have the potential to make a significant contribution towards a step-change in the sustainability, transparency, and resource efficiency of food supply.

However, farm and field data are typically dispersed, non-compatible and inaccessible, factors that have been identified as major impediments of bringing such technologies into commercial use.

Securing the benefits of sharing data broadly, while respecting data privacy for farmers and protecting proprietary information have also been identified as major concerns that stand in the way of data collaboration.

To overcome these challenges, Yara and IBM believe a collaborative approach is essential, and the companies have hence invited farmer associations, industry players, academia and NGOs from the food and agriculture industry to join the movement.

The Open Farm & Field Data Exchange aims to bring data together from various players to address concrete issues and enable data-driven innovation, addresses changing consumer preferences and reduces the environmental footprint of food production at a global scale.

Yara and IBM have invited early movers from the agriculture and food industry to jointly pilot concrete test cases and define the principles and practicalities of data collaboration.

Terje Knutsen, Yara EVP Sales and Marketing says: “It is our collective responsibility to overcome siloes and work together to bring innovation to the way we produce food.

“The transition towards a more sustainable food system requires data-driven customized solutions for every field and farm

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“Trusted data sharing is one key element where we can jointly make a difference which will benefit all, from farmers all the way to end consumers.”

Mark Foster, SVP, IBM Global Business Services said; “We believe the agriculture industry needs to invest in exponential technologies such as AI, IoT, and big data to help address climate change and population growth as it threatens the world’s ability to produce enough food.”

“Together with Yara, we are taking a major step towards transforming the global food system by inviting all food value chain players to join this collaborative movement to help feed the world more efficiently and sustainably.”

The initiative will be building on the learnings and technology foundation established in the context of the Yara-IBM partnership, which was launched in 2019 to connect and support farmers around the world.

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