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ILVO press release - Thursday, March 22, 2018

‘DataHub for AgroFood’ starts with a focus on transparency, data privacy and data ownership. Farmers play a central role.

For the next 3 years, ILVO will work together with the Innovative Company Network for Smart Digital Farming (SDF) and 6 companies and agriculture organizations (AVEVE, Boerenbond, CRV, DGZ, Innovatiesteunpunt, Milcobel) to develop a ‘DataHub for AgroFood’. The hub makes it possible to exchange data and connect. The project will focus on safety, respect for data privacy and data ownership. EFRO (European Fund for Regional Development) is giving nearly a half million euros in support. The project starts officially on 3 April 2018.

According to the partners, sharing data can bring great benefits for the farmer, the companies and the entire sector. This concerns, among other things, the administrative unburdening of livestock farmers, optimization of input and more insight into business operations. 'There are great opportunities in connecting data in the agrifood chain,' says Jurgen Vangeyte (ILVO). Data are everywhere: In agriculture, digital systems record a large amount of data about crops, animals, plots ... Many other agricultural data are also available in the subsectors, and actually throughout the supply chain. 'Data sharing is in fact a ‘field to fork' story’.

In the ERDF project DATAHUB, the potential benefits of data sharing in the agricultural sector are initially demonstrated on the basis of cases in dairy farming.

The farmer is central to this story, meaning that he or she is recognized as the owner of the data and that the farmers are given a central role in the data exchange: the farmer determines which other parties may have access to that data. Only the data authorized by the farmer can be further exchanged and combined.

ILVO is the coordinator for the management and organization of the DataHub and for monitoring the correct implementation of the agreements made. When making the connections between the data collections, safety and respect for data ownership are paramount. Stephanie Van Weyenberg (ILVO): 'We make clear agreements about data access, use, management and ownership. All parties must be able to rely on the agreements being kept so that they will continue to share their data. In addition, the farmer, as a primary data provider, must always be actively involved in this process.'

In Flanders this start-up data hub for AgroFood illustrates the focus of the Flemish government on '2018, year of data in agriculture'.

Contact

Greet Riebbels, ILVO Communication, +32 486 26 00 14, Greet.Riebbels@ilvo.vlaanderen.be
Stephanie Van Weyenberg, ILVO coordinator EDRF project Datahub AgroFood, +32 9 272 28 18, Stephanie.Vanweyenberg@ilvo.vlaanderen.be