Big Data in Agriculture Blog Competition – CLOSED

Are you a keen writer with an interest in big data in agriculture and the future of farming? It’s time to weigh in – we want you to add your voice to the conversation!

Big data is a hot topic in the agriculture development sector. It is becoming more apparent than ever that if we are going to achieve food security for the future the agriculture sector needs to get smart, it needs to get digital – and be powered by big data.

But where do we go from here?

During our inaugural annual convention in September last year, there were a few main topics highlighted regarding just how we are going to harness the potential of big data in the most effective way. We have included some of them below and invite you to join the discussion by submitting your blogs on the following topics.



Access & Discoverability

So, big data powered technology can help farmers, policymakers, developers make better decisions about agriculture tools – but how do we make this data accessible?

Not only that, but with more and more data being harvested and shared, the sheer volume has presented another issue – how to ensure the right data gets to the right user.

For the full potential of data to be unlocked it must be made discoverable and accessible in digital format, with the right linkages in place that provide context and promote mutual discoverability of related datasets.


Application & Use

Local context and various other drivers and incentives, independent of data, determine how knowledge is consumed and acted on. In order to better understand how open data/big data can lead to benefits for smallholder farmers, it is important to understand the wider ecosystem and the incentives of different stakeholders at various levels.

What does the whole chain from “data” to “benefit for small shareholder farmers” look like in different contexts? What partners are needed and what will their roles be in deriving value out of open and/or big data? How will the benefits of these efforts actually reach farmers? How will farmers themselves shape this process?


Ethics of Open Data

Data sharing is critical for digitally-enabling the agriculture development sector, yet even while the enthusiasm for sharing is growing, it is important to continue to examine the ethical dimensions of new approaches to data collection, sharing and use.

The ability to capture and recombine digital data, including even “live” data in real-time can impact human subjects in a variety of new ways that need to be better understood.

Existing legal frameworks and ethics guidelines may not be evolving as quickly as these multifaceted data-driven capabilities, that may have implications for technology, confidentiality, intellectual property, consent, access and sharing of benefits.

The growing consensus is that research data should be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR). However, many recognise that the incentives of multiple actors, including donors, the private sector, researchers, and data subjects themselves, may not always easily align. How do we reconcile and align these diverse cultures and objectives?


Who can participate?

You! We welcome entries from everyone and anyone who has an interest in the use of big data for global development – especially in the agriculture sector. We don’t mind if you are an experienced journalist, novice blogger, scientist, or just a science fanboy or fangirl, if you have something of value to add to the conversation, we want to hear from you!




  • Grand prize: GoPro HERO6

  • Runners-up: Two runners up will each receive a cash prize of $200 USD

Judging Process

  • All suitable* blogs will be published on our news site and blogs for our audiences to read and engage with
  • Preselection of finalists will depend on audience engagement voting system
  • Votes will be tallied by using an accumulative point system of likes, shares, comments, and page views
    • 1 page view = 1 point
    • 1 share = 5 points
    • 1 comment = 5 points
    • 1 like = 3 points
  • The 10 published entries that generate the most engagement on our website and across our social media platforms will be selected as finalists
  • These will then be assessed by a panel of judges made up of industry experts who will select winners based on the following criteria: relevance, timeliness, expertise, originality, accuracy and writing skill.


How to submit

  • Write 500 – 1000 words on one of the above topics
  • Must be AN ORIGINAL ARTICLE not previously published in any other publication online or in print
  • Save the file in word with the file named accordingly: E.g. BD Blog Competition Entry by [Your Full Name]
  • Fill out the entry form
  • Entry closes the 30th of March and winners announced on the 30th of April**
  • Remember that audience engagement is the first qualifier to get into the list of finalists, so invite your peers to get involved by voting with their likes, comments and shares. Happy writing!


*The Platform reserves the right to reject entries not suitable for publication.** Date to judge finalists has been extended to allow for further engagement audience.

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