A Practical Guide for Integrating Data into Farmers’ Decision-Making Lessons from Asia

The benefits of data integration in agriculture/aquaculture greatly outweigh the costs associated with it, however, influencing smallholder farmers to adopt data-driven technologies continues to remain a critical challenge. Since most farmers in developing economies are smallholders, low adoption is a result of underlying factors such as a limited ability and willingness to pay, poor receptivity of new technology, lack of trust and awareness, and an outlook for immediate gains. The difficulty of last-mile connectivity further amplifies the adoption challenge. As a result, only a few businesses have managed to scale while others still struggle with financial-sustainability. The ones that have scaled have incorporated strategies involving pricing, marketing, and distribution; an understanding of which is necessary for successful participation in this space.

With this background, IDH, with support from Intellecap, developed this practical guide for organizations seeking to integrate data into agriculture/aquaculture through Farm Management Information Systems (FMIS) in emerging economies. The recommendations included in the guide are an outcome of secondary research on 128 FMIS service providers and a deep dive with 21 shortlisted FMIS service providers operating in five countries of Asia: China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam1.