In combining these biological innovations with technical innovations such as precision farming, the plant specialist saw a huge potential for more resource efficiency in agriculture.

German Agricultural Minister Julia Klöckner stressed the opportunities offered by digitisation: tailored application of seed on schedule with the aid of weather apps and sub-area-specific yield forecasts, an optimised use of pesticides and fertilisers through precision farming, traceability and transparency in production for commerce and the consumer,  knowledge exchange und decision support for farms, determining the right time to sell products thanks to access to market prices … “Digitalisation can only help smallholders if they really receive localised data,” noted Mathias Mogge, Secretary General of Deutsche Welthungerhilfe. It was also important to involve farmers in testing the respective technologies, with special attention being given to gender dynamics. Experience gathered by Welthungerhilfe, for example, had shown that women used smartphones very differently from men – an important insight when it came to designing apps.

The question of digital literacy and ownership

As a rule, governments and businesses are very keen to gather data and keep them.