Read about the course

Course objective

The course creates awareness of data on and for farmers as well as the products and services that have become a growth area, driving expectations and investments in ICT4ag including e-extension, precision agriculture and digital financial services. The course furthermore highlights shared data principles, including FAIR and open data conceptual frameworks, while also emphasizing the legal and responsible ethical considerations for data rights and protections.

By the end of the course, participants will (be able to):

  • Understand the value of data, the different types and sources of data and identify the type of services that data enables in agriculture;

  • Understand how data is used and generated in the value chain;

  • Understand the challenges and risks that smallholders face when sharing data;

  • Understand the strategies related to farmer profiling;

  • Understand how and where to find open data;

  • Apply data analysis and visualisation techniques;

  • Understand the legal and policy aspects when dealing with farmers’ data sharing;

  • Understand the basics of licencing, copyright and database rights.

Target Audience

This online course will support the work of professionals involved in using or managing data services for the benefit of farmers and farmers organizations. These professionals work in a wide range of organizations, including international organizations, donor agencies, multilaterals, NGOs, academic and research institutions, universities, national or local governments.

The main target audience groups include:

  • Those who are involved in farmers’ organisations as administrators or staff i.e. those collecting farmer data and managing the data; and

  • Development practitioners and technology providers, who, in addition, assist farmers’ organisation setting up farmer profiling and creating data services.

Course structure

The course is provided in English. It consists of four units as follows including 15 lessons as well as audiovisual learning materials. The content was developed and delivered in October-November 2019.

Participants are expected to spend on average eight hours per week to complete lessons.


In a course delivery, participants are given short quizzes per unit. The course ends with a course exam. Online Certificate of Attendance is provided for those who actively participated in the course. Certificate of Achievement is provided to those who completed the exam with 6.0 and higher success rate. The certificates are only provided electronically in .pdf format and it is downloadable by the participants.

For the eligibility for the certificate, it is recommended to read particular course details as it varies among different versions of the course.

Currently, the course is not being delivered and the content is fully available on this platform. If you have any question, please email us at [email protected]


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0). You do not have to ask our permission to re-use this MOOC content. You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

Acknowledgement of the contributors

This Massive open Online Course (MOOC) on Farm Data Management, Sharing and Services for Agriculture Development resulted from work undertaken as part of the Data4Ag project of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) with the Pan African Farmers’ Organisation (PAFO), the content was then developed and delivered as a course with the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2019.

In order to deliver the course, FAO set up a dedicated task force to develop and deliver the course for this 8-month project from June 2019 to January 2020. The task force members were Stephane Boyera (SBC4D), Valeria Pesce (Information Management Consultant), Hugo Besemer (Retired from Wageningen University and Research) and Ilkay Holt (Information Management Consultant). The task force was led by Imma Subirats from FAO and worked closely with Chris Addison and Chipo Msengezi from CTA, the funding institution of the course.

How to cite this course?

Data4Ag project of CTA with PAFO and FAO. (2020, February 12). Farm Data Management, Sharing and Services for Agriculture Development Online Course (Version v1.0). Zenodo.

Contact information

For your questions and inquires, please contact us at [email protected] Project website is accessible at