Potential for Farmers to Maximise Productivity as Data Market Continues to Thrive in the EU and Beyond
The rising adoption of digital transformation across industries is not bypassing the agri sector. And while large parts of this sector are open to new possibilities technology brings, some players on the agricultural value chain remain wary of digitalisation – especially small farmers.
But there is immense potential in large volumes of data waiting to be shared and interlinked. That is why the data market keeps growing, both generally and in the agri sector. And small farmers are also eligible to reap economic benefits from the data market’s potential.
Possible EU Data Market Value Growth to €107 Billion
It is important to note that the EU has recognised the tremendous potential of data. The European Strategy for Data predicted the rise of common European data spaces in selected sectors of strategic importance, including the agricultural sector, due to its substantial economic value.
The European Commission report from 2020 focusing on the European data market provided projections for the growth of the EU’s data market value. The most favourable growth would be 10.7% compared to 2019, meaning the market would reach €107 billion. A more subdued scenario shows a still notable growth to between €72 billion and €83 billion by 2025.
Growth in Global Agricultural Big Data Analytics Market
According to Business Research Insights’ 2023 report, the global big data analytics in agriculture market size is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.65%. That would mean a jump from 2021’s USD 817.57 million to USD 1272.71 million by 2027.
Climate Change Putting Farmers and Their Yields in a Vulnerable Position
Farmers urgently need to implement data innovations into their strategies, as they are particularly vulnerable to volatile environmental conditions present across the globe (record-breaking heat, unexpected extreme colds, and natural hazards such as droughts). The UN is predicting that global food yields could decline by an alarming 30% by 2050 due to climate change – if farmers don’t get adequate help and resources in battling climate change effects. That would cause a dire domino effect, as the agricultural sector would be further affected by the losses. Consequences such as lower food safety, reduced food security, and higher food prices could occur. Mitigating these conditions could be a possibility, thanks to the expanding reach of data analytics presented through the overall growth of the data market.
Agri-Data Analytics as a Tool for Prediction and Precision Intervention
Fresh findings related to the data analytics market open up new horizons even in the subset of agri-data analytics.
Providing small farmers access to agri-data analytics systems and large volumes of data empowers them to address their productivity and operational efficiency needs effectively. The agri-data analytics space has its own subsets, with precision agriculture data analytics being one of them. Its market is experiencing growth in Europe with an estimated 2023 value of USD 2,567.96 million, and a projected USD 5,232.81 million by 2028. This means a high CAGR of 15.30% could be seen for the years 2023-2028.
One of the reasons the market is growing in Europe is the increasing addition of IoT (Internet of Things) technology in the agriculture sector. Farmers – both big and small – can benefit from the real-time data collected via IoT. There is also a growing need for sorting large data volumes in a user-friendly manner, to make the data easier for farmers to access and interpret.
One of the ways such data sorting, linking, and interoperability could be achieved is via a Knowledge Lake Management System (KLMS) that can be used for:
- – Early crop growth predictions – The KLMS would make crop growth predictions and predictions of food shortages easier, as currently, these warnings come too late in the season for farmers.
- – Timely precision farming interventions – The KLMS would combine different data and best practices to help farmers develop agricultural strategies through timely precision farming interventions.
The KLMS would have a tremendous economic impact on small farmers, with a projected 50% reduction in time spent on strategic business decisions related to risk prevention and a 40-60 €/ha benefit to farmers, as they would end up with higher yields and reduced usage of fertilisers.
As part of a collective effort to make large data volumes accessible to many different agriculture value chain players, the EU-funded STELAR project aims to develop, design and implement a KLMS which will enable intelligent discovery, semantic interoperability, and AI-ready data in smart agriculture and food safety applications. Stay tuned for more as we explore the different aspects of the platform, as well as the project’s exciting results.