“I consider it our role to make farmers aware of the value of data”
Hans Van den Heuvel is the president of LTO Nederland (Dutch Agriculture and Horticulture Organization) and has been involved with JoinData since the beginning.
Within JoinData, LTO looks after the interests of the primary sector. They are represented in the audit committee and in the general meeting of members. Van den Heuvel considers it important that members of LTO are aware of the existence of JoinData and its usefulness and necessity. “I do notice, regarding this subject, that I’m the one who has to initiate the discussion. Members have no problem discussing plant health, nitrogen, labor or climate with me, but data is not at the top of their list.”
Before, Van den Heuvel was working in an organization in the housing market. “In that field, data is a much bigger subject. Funda, for example, consists of data only. The primary sector is yet to take that step. Awareness is the primary concern here. Many entrepreneurs have no clue as to how much data they are sharing or that when buying a machine, for example, you also share data. Only rarely they are aware who they authorized to access their data. I consider it our role to make farmers aware of the value that is represented by data and what can be done with it.”
Shared data represents value
Van den Heuvel is convinced of the value of data. “Shared data represents a value. This could be a monetary value or increased insight. Data gives you more insight, as an entrepreneur. It reinforces your position, because you make choices on the basis of facts instead of assumptions or hunches.”
Van den Heuvel hopes that LTO can make sure that even more farmers and horticulturists will join. “I am picturing a ‘bright and sunny’ future for JoinData, if as many entrepreneurs as possible will see the benefits. It has taken years to set up the linking system of JoinData. Now it is really functional and we must cherish that and expand it over the coming years. I hope that even more organizations will get involved with JoinData. And not just more organizations, but also more parties in terms of sectors. Because data awareness differs between one sector and another.”