INSPIRE Hackathons and SmartAfriHub – Roadmap for Addressing the Agriculture Data Challenges in Africa

DOI 10.7160/aol.2021.130404
No 4/2021, December
pp. 33-48

Charvat, K., Obot, A., Kalyesubula, S., Zampati, F., Löytty, T., Kubickova, H., Uhlir, P. and Zadrazil, F. (2021) “INSPIRE Hackathons and SmartAfriHub – Roadmap for Addressing the Agriculture Data Challenges in Africa", AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 33-48. ISSN 1804-1930. DOI 10.7160/aol.2021.130404.


Digital farming holds enormous potential for agricultural development, and giving farmers the tools to boost productivity and profitability. Although the benefits of digitalization are numerous, farmers feel they are not the ones benefiting from the value of data collected on their farms. Several issues were identified as factors restricting farmers from benefiting from data-driven agriculture. From the farmers’ perspective, there is a distinct lack of awareness of the issues surrounding farm data, and the complexity of these issues. This feeds into the imbalance that exists between individual farmers and larger agribusinesses wherein the former lack enough resources to address and analyse the significance of data, and so cannot take advantage of the value in it. There is also limited legislation for the generation, flow, exchange and use of data; where legislation does exist, it is not well understood by farmer organisations. From a policy perspective, moreover, there is very little guidance as to which agricultural data can be considered personal data, and therefore protected by privacy laws. This paper analyses the interactions and effects of the 5 Concepts: Open Agricultural Data, Open-Source Software, Citizen Science, privacy and legal and ethical issues that are assumed to advance the digitalization of African Food System (AFS and the enabling Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) - SmartAfriHub (


Africa Smart Agriculture, Open Data, Open-Source Software, Citizen Science.


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