Archived Webinar

Digital Ag Series: Co-creating an industry standard for sharing agricultural data globally featuring Digital Green, Hewlett Packard Enterprise & Microsoft

"Digital infrastructure to power the secure exchange of data across the food and agriculture system."

Farmers receive a staggering amount of information each day from government extension agents, private agribusinesses, and NGOs. With little coordination between these actors, farmers often receive information and services that they did not demand and which are not relevant to their needs. Farmers and the organizations that serve them do not have an easy and secure way to exchange data, which leads to fragmentation and silos. No single organization can alone solve this problem, so we need an industry standard for sharing agricultural data globally.

Digital Green has pioneered the use of agri-tech to boost the incomes of small-scale farmers. Building on more than ten years of experience with 2 million farmers across South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, Digital Green is now leading the development of FarmStack, an agricultural data-sharing platform to enable organizations and individuals to transfer data through peer-to-peer connectors governed by usage policies that codify data sovereignty and control.

There will be two parts of the session; in the first part Rikin Gandhi, co-founder of Digital Green, will present the motivation & architecture of FarmStack with practical use cases. The second part will be a conversation with Lin Nease from Hewlett Packard Enterprises & Ranveer Chandra from Microsoft, on ways that can co-create public infrastructure to automate the discovery, transfer, and transformation of agricultural data.

About the Presenters

Parmesh Shah

Global Lead, Data-driven and Digital Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank

Parmesh Shah is the Global Lead for Data-Driven Digital Agriculture at the World Bank. He provides leadership to Bank’s work in these areas and supports the development of global knowledge and learning in these areas to offer solutions to clients and other development partners. His current areas of interest are economic and social organizations and networks of the poor, making markets and public services work for the poor, social entrepreneurship, digital and data-based innovations in agriculture and rural development, promotion of on-farm, and off-farm jobs and public-private and people partnerships for rural poverty reduction. He is currently involved in developing a regional program on scaling up digital agriculture in Africa region involving setting up ecosystems for entrepreneurship and incubation. He holds a D Phil in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, MBA from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and B Tech degree in Agricultural Engineering from Pantnagar in India.

Rikin Gandhi

Co-founder and Executive Director, Digital Green

Rikin Gandhi completed Masters in aeronautical and astronautical space engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelors in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. Rikin began his career at Oracle, where he received patents for linguistic search algorithms that he helped develop. Later he joined Microsoft Research India’s Technology for Emerging Markets team, where he researched ways to amplify the effectiveness of agricultural development globally. The time Rikin spent in India’s rural communities changed his life. He developed a passion for helping the country’s rural farmers, whom he saw as heroes. More than a decade later, that passion has become Rikin’s career; in 2006, he co-founded what has become Digital Green.

Lin Nease

Chief Technologist, IoT - Enterprise Group -Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Lin Nease is an HPE Fellow and Chief Technologist for HPE Pointnext’s IoT practice.  In this role, he is responsible for setting strategy, building a technology plan, and driving innovation with key enterprise customers/partners of HP.  Lin also provides IoT strategy consulting directly with HPE’s enterprise customers. He co-founded HPE’s EdgeLine business, drove portfolio enhancements to HPE’s GreenLake services, established the IoT practice, and led HPE’s membership in organizations like the Industrial Internet Consortium. Nease received his BS in Computer Science at Arizona State University and his MBA from California State University, Sacramento. He also served as a computer operator in the United States Air Force.

Ranveer Chandra

Chief Scientist, Azure Global at Microsoft

Ranveer Chandra leads research & innovation across different industry verticals at Microsoft Azure. Ranveer’s research has shipped in multiple Microsoft products, including XBOX, Azure, Windows, and Visual Studio. He started the FarmBeats project in 2015, which shipped as a Microsoft product in 2019. He also leads research on battery tech, and TV white spaces. Bill Gates featured his work on FarmBeats on GatesNotes, and he has been invited to present to the Secretary of Agriculture, and on TV White Spaces to the FCC Chairman. Ranveer has published over 90 research papers and has over 100 patents granted by the USPTO. He is an IEEE Fellow, and has won several awards, including best paper awards in computer science conferences and the MIT Technology Review’s Top Innovators Under 35 award in 2010. Ranveer has an undergraduate degree from IIT Kharagpur, India, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University.   

Stewart Collis

Senior Program Officer, Digital Agriculture Solutions, Gates Foundation

Mr.Collis is a Senior Program Officer of Digital Agriculture Solutions at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Mr. Collis has over 20 years’ experience in agricultural information technology. A graduate of the University of New South Wales in Geomatic Engineering, Mr. Collis worked at the CGIAR and Texas A&M University on crop simulation, agro-climatic modeling, and software development. He then co-founded aWhere; a Benefit Corporation focused on agricultural intelligence, information, and insight to help increase food production, improve efficacy, and mitigate climate risk in agriculture. His focus at the Gates Foundation is Digital Farmer Services and Smart Farming solutions.

Laura Ralston

Senior Economist, Data-driven and Digital Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank

Laura Ralston focuses on strategies to support data access and utilization for agri-food systems, with emphasis on increasing equity and sustainability in developing countries. She has worked with the Bank in a variety of roles since 2013, including a field posting in the Indonesia country office, using technology and data for economic empowerment in rural areas, as well as project leadership experience in youth employment programs in several countries in Africa. Laura enjoys developing collaborations across the World Bank and with external partners, with a focus on innovation and sharing of ideas. Towards these goals, she has led data partnership work on monitoring citizen sentiments, developing new methods for poverty targeting, and coordinated several impact evaluations across sectors in Africa and East Asia. Laura received her Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed her undergraduate studies at the London School of Economics.

Questions Submitted


- Oct 19, 2022
What Digital Green is doing in developing smart agriculture in low income countriies is awesome


- May 29, 2021

jose luis

- May 15, 2021
esta muy buena esta serie


- Jan 12, 2021


- Dec 8, 2020

Jared Troy

- Oct 29, 2020
Fascinating topic.

Joy Mildred Adhiambo

- Aug 31, 2020

Mohammad Nadir

- Aug 30, 2020


- Aug 28, 2020
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