Report Synopsis

If you want to go far, go together. The future of open source AgTech

Andrew Sargent

Most software and data platforms developed for agriculture are copyrighted and thus closed in nature. There are very few projects where the source code for these products is freely available to users, referred to as open source. Many other software sectors have embraced this open source model.

This report investigates the open source software options available to agriculture, discussing how these projects could benefit the agricultural sector and detailing the challenges or barriers to adoption.

This report found that there were a limited number of open source projects available that could be adopted easily by industry, but many more that could be adopted with some further investment.

It was also found that there are many more benefits to the industry than just free software. Adoption of an open source culture in agricultural software and data will increase the value of that data to stakeholders, by allowing easier sharing and analysis of that data. This can speed research outcomes by improving researcher access to on-farm data sources, though a simpler data sharing system, which would enable access to a larger and more diverse dataset for research use.

The adoption of an open source ecosystem will benefit all stakeholders in the agricultural data value chain, from farmers to developers, manufacturers and Research Development Corporations (RDC).

Open source software provides growers with the opportunity to take control of their data and also their data infrastructure. Whether they choose to outsource or self-manage, the choice is theirs.

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