Digital Extension Advisory Services: Towards a Data Driven Disruption - RDA 11th Plenary BoF meeting

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01 January 2018 2653 reads

Meeting title

Digital Extension Advisory Services: Towards a Data Driven Disruption (Remote Access Instructions)

Collaborative session notes:

Short introduction describing the scope of the group and if any previous activities

Future Extension and Advisory Services (EAS) across the globe need to innovate and strategize the use of disruptive technologies such as mobile/cloud computing, Internet of Things, location-based social networks etc. Use of digital technologies in rural advisories has been documented well in past two decades, but there has been no cross learning between organizations, extension organizations, value chain stakeholders and farmers. Digital disruption is happening across the industries (with an exception to agriculture!) bringing significant values to individuals and organizations. Spotting something and doing something about it are very different things. We are spotting disruptive trends in commerce, health, hotel, governance, banking industries, but seldom tried to relate to rural advisories and agricultural development. 

1. Blockchain technologies can ensure trust and alignment across the agricultural value chain. It can reduce middle man costs, and allows relevant stakeholder to do business with each other securely without even knowing each other. This transformative technology can dramatically disrupt the way we approach extension and rural advisory services. Extension advisory organizations can embrace data driven strategies in food traceability, mobile payments, online marketing, farm credit and insurance. More efficient supply chains for payments and transactions could take place real-time by using blockchain that may transform the very nature of extension advisory services across the world. 

2. Big data analytics in EAS: Farmers have been managing their land with extension advisories coming from multiple sources. But neither the extension advisories nor the decision making is based on the microscopic analysis of data from each farm. Predictive analytics will benefit millions of farmers when big data is collected, collated and processed with big data analytics and real time advisories are pushed.

The big data analytics in extension will bring significant changes in the personalised, field specific solutions along with pre-production to post production service needs of farming community. It will lead to higher yields, lower input use per hectare and lower cost of cultivation. For example, the magnitude of yield improvement from commercial precision fertilizer application according to various agribusiness market participants ranges from 10% to 15%. Credit requirements to marketing gains, at every step like this may help small ad marginal farmers, if effectively implemented (in combination with Internet of Things discussed below). 

3. Internet of Things: According to Industry Trend Analysis, Internet of Things & Big Data in Agribusiness the integration of Internet of Things and big data technology in agriculture will pick up in the coming years, and be a major factor behind future improvement in global yields. (

Dairy and livestock farmers have been using RFID to enable tracking of individual animals' health and levels of production for quite a few years. There are many other active areas of development including sensor networks to monitor soil & crop conditions, equipment monitoring and automation (self driven planters/harvesters etc). These devices collect useful data with the help of various existing technologies and then autonomously flow the data between other devices. To facilitate the purchasing of farm inputs and selling of farm products, buyers’ and sellers’ smartphones can be equipped with IoT technologies such as Near-Field Communications (NFC) that facilitate the purchasing of products without using cash. Mobile internet and low-cost sensors could enable farmers to interact directly with the consumers, cutting off the middleman.

4. Location based Social media (LBS): The inclusion of mobile positioning in social networking services that lets people know where they are at any given time may be termed in short as Location based Social media. Location-based social media monitoring could be used for segmentation of data from social networks (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) by geographical location to identify patterns. For EAS, location-based social networks present unprecedented large-scale check-in data to describe a farmer’s (extensionist’s) mobile behaviour in spatial, temporal and social aspects. Based on the trends, contingency action plans and time critical advisories can be made available to farmers. 
Several location based services could be provided using LBS - such as resource tracking along with dynamic distribution, finding nearest farmers willing to transport together to fetch higher market prices, weather fore-warning, proximity-based notification (push or pull) of extenionists / experts targeted advertising

This group provides a platform for professionals involved in research, extension , advisory and agricultural value chain specialists to discuss and address relevant issues, as well as seeking ways to harness disruptive innovations in extension advisory systems across globe. This would contribute to connecting the dots between research data and extension data. This is a futuristic group / BoF meeting that will have far reaching consequences in data driven agriculture.

We encourage archivists, researchers, extension professionals, and other information professionals to attend, along with any RDA member with an interest in learning about how digital extension advisory services are being transformed with data driven disruptive innovations.

Additional links to informative material related to the group

Meeting objectives

1. To create platform for the professionals involved in research, extension , advisory and agricultural value chain to discuss, share and harness data driven disruptive innovations in extension advisory systems
2. To explore the possibility of integrating research data with extension data systems and the issues pertaining
3. To document the data driven efforts of blockchain, big data, IOT, mobile and cloud computing in extension advisory systems

Meeting agenda

Brief introduction to the group
Review short term and medium term goals 
Presentations on current work/ current standing and progress in the area
Planning of next steps and operation of the group

Target audience:

Professionals involved in research, extension , advisory and agricultural value chain to discuss, share and harness data driven disruptive innovations in extension advisory systems
Software professionals interested in deploying blockchain, big data, IOT, mobile and cloud computing in extension advisory systems
RDA community members interested in the concepts of data driven extension systems

Group chair serving as contact person: N MEERA SHAIK

Type of meeting: Working meeting

Remote Access Instructions:

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

You can also dial in using your phone.

Access Code: 609-036-029

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