[CODATA-international] Ethics of Digital Feudalism in Location Data in Agriculture

Suchith Anand Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk
Wed Jul 8 15:53:48 EDT 2020

Dear colleagues,

Agriculture is an important source of livelihood for millions of small holder farmers globally. Digital technologies  plays a crucial role in promoting agricultural productivity, improving rural livelihoods, and increasing small holder farmer incomes.   Smallholder farmers manage over 80 percent of the world’s estimated 500 million farms, providing over 80 percent of the food consumed across the developing world, and contributing significantly to poverty reduction and food security.

With personal data fast becoming the world’s most valuable commodity, more research needs to be done into the rise of Digital Feudalism and its societal impacts.

Do small holder farmers really benefit equally, or even at all, from the benefits of data sharing?

Do all stakeholders in the agricultural sector have the same access and control to these insights?

How can we develop and empower ICT capacity for small holder farmers, farmer cooperatives  etc to help reduce digital feudalism?

GODAN  article on  Ethical dimensions of Digital Feudalism in Agriculture might be of interest. Details at https://www.godan.info/news/ethical-dimensions-digital-feudalism-agriculture

We welcome all interested colleagues to  join the GODAN Data Rights and Responsible Data Working Group [1] and share ideas for the Agriculture Data Code of Conduct [2].

With  the rise of Digital Feudalism and  its impacts on Location data, it raises many ethical questions. I am now working on an article  looking into Ethics of Digital Feudalism in Location Data in Agriculture.

Are there any examples of guidelines or code of conduct for mobile applications collecting location data in Agriculture. Are there any journal publications or studies in this area.  If so, please email me the publication details so I can learn more and  reference them in my article. Thanks.

Best wishes,


Dr. Suchith Anand

Chief Scientist

Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition


[1] https://www.godan.info/pages/data-rights-and-responsible-data-working-group

[2] https://www.godan.info/codes

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