Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2019 | 4 | 91-107

Article title

Towards a New Data Economy for EU Agriculture


Title variants

Languages of publication



This paper discusses the transformation from analogue to digital agriculture (smart farming) and the laws and regulations affecting the governance of agricultural data in the EU. It is argued that the current legal and policy framework in the EU is insufficient to serve the needs of responsible smart farming systems. Specifi c characteristics of farm data and patterns in farm data collection and use contribute to market failuresin agricultural data markets and hence to the insufficient provision of public goods through agriculture. The key parts of the smart farming data value chain are shaped by private contractual agreements between farmer and agricultural technology providers that do not take into account the potential negative externalities of established data flows. There is a strong rationale for a new data economy for EU agriculture, implying a greater involvement of the state in the smart farming data value chain. Interventions would be needed both to support the ecosystem for datadriven innovations in farming and to minimize the risk of new economic and social inequalities in the agriculture sector. The creation of an EU-wide farm data repository under the auspices of EU institutions andin tegrating public agricultural data with private farmers’ data subject to anonymisation and aggregation can be seen as a first step towards a new data economy for EU agriculture. Also, the Common Agricultural Policyshould be more involved in and committed to the process of the digital transformation of farming in the EU.






Physical description


  • Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics – National Research Institute


  • A Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, COM(2015) 192 final, 6.05.2015.
  • Aubert B.A., Schroeder A., Grimaudo J., IT as enabler of sustainable farming: An empirical analysis of farmers’ adoption decision of precision agriculture technology, “Decision Support Systems”, No. 54(1)/2012, pp. 510–520, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dss.2012.07.002.
  • Bronson K., Knezevic I., Big Data in food and agriculture, “Big Data & Society”, No. 3(1)/2016, pp. 1–5, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2053951716648174.
  • Commission Staff Working Document – Impact Assessment, accompanying the document, Strategy for Agricultural Statistics 2020 and beyond and subsequent potential legislative scenarios, SWD(2016) 430 fi nal, Brussels, 9.12.2016.
  • Digitalisation in agriculture is not simple, “Future farming”, 20 November 2018.
  • Eastwood C., Laurens K., Ayre M., Dela R.B., Managing Socio-Ethical Challenges in the Development of Smart Farming: From a Fragmented to a Comprehensive Approach for Responsible Research and Innovation, “Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics”, Vol. 32 (issue130)/2017, pp. 1–28, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10806-017-9704-5.
  • Ellixson A., Griffi n T., Farm data: Ownership and protections, September 16, 2016, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2839811.
  • EU Farm Accountancy Data Network 50 years of support for EU agriculture and farmers, Brussels, 16.06.2015.
  • EU Member States join forces on digitalisation for European agriculture and rural areas, Brussels, 9 April 2019.
  • Is the Commission’s system for performance measurement in relation to farmers’ incomes well designed and based on sound data?, Special Report No. 1/2016.
  • Jakku E. et al, If they don’t tell us what they do with it, why would we trust them?’ Trust, transparency and benefi t-sharing in Smart Farming, “NJASWageningen Journal of Life Sciences”, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.njas.2018.11.002.
  • Kritikos M., Precision agriculture in Europe. Legal, social and ethical considerations, Study – Science and Technology Options Assessment, Brussels, European Parliamentary Research Service, 2017.
  • Meola A., Why IoT, big data & smart farming are the future of agriculture, “Business Insider”, 20 December 2016.
  • The Future of Food and Farming, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and
  • Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, COM(2017) 713 final, Brussels, 29.11.2017.
  • Tóth K., Georeferenced agricultural data for statistical reuse, “Geosciences”, No. 8(188)/2018, pp. 1–19, DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8050188.
  • Weersink A. et al., Opportunities and challenges for Big Data in agricultural and environmental analysis, “Annual Review of Resource Economics”, No. 10/ 2018, pp. 19–37, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-resource-100516-053654.
  • Wiseman L. et al., Farmers and their data: An examination of farmers’ reluctance to share their data through the lens of the laws impacting smart farming, “NJAS-Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences”, DOI: https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.njas.2019.04.007.

Document Type

Publication order reference


YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.