Farm to fork: ‘Big Data’ & the agriculture value chain

‘Big Data’ is possibly one of the most prolific phrases in our modern technological world. Across numerous sectors big data has become a key enabler for growth, allowing businesses to take advantage of analytics-driven insights, providing a competitive edge, increased efficiency and greater understanding of new geographical markets.
There has been much discussion around the role of big data in the retail, manufacturing and financial services sectors, however, it is playing an equally important – if less documented – role in the more traditional agricultural sector.
From ‘farm to fork’ huge swathes of data is being generated from a variety of sources including weather reports, soil conditions, water resources, market demand, distribution logistics and so on. This data is often unstructured or semi-structured, making analytics more difficult but no less valuable. If the data from across the agricultural supply chain can be gathered and analysed quickly enough it can provide information and insights that can have a dramatic impact at every stage of the value chain.

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