He who owns the soil, owns up to the sky, as an old agricultural saying goes. Modern farmers own a potential goldmine on top of that soil. It’s not their maize or corn, nor their tractor or even their wind turbine. The goldmine is right in their hands, literally. It´s their smartphone, and the data it collects are the mother lode. Data about crops, yield, rains, inputs, loans, areal, soil conditions, and – not to forget – data that reveal the transport circle of the farmer, and how many hours he or she procrastinates on Facebook or Tetris.
This may sound a bit farfetched, realising that there’s still a huge digital divide, especially when it comes to an available internet connection. It’s not about the mobile phone itself. In the least developed countries, you’ll find a mobile phone in 9 out of 10 households in the city, compared to 6 out of 10 in rural areas (ITU, 2018c). Internet use has also grown in a steep curve the last decade. However, halve of the world remains offline, with only 1 in 5 people online in the poorest economies. Moreover, the gender gap is the widest there, with women in rural areas staying the least connected to the digital world (source: Digital Economy Report).