Exchanging data for biodiversity reward
Are you curious about the role of JoinData in the recovery of biodiversity in the province of Brabant? Hans Maathuis is happy to explain. Maathuis is the treasurer of the Collective Agricultural nature- and landscape management West-Brabant (ANB) West-Brabant. This is a corporation of farmers, founded by 6 agricultural nature conservation associations. The association was founded in 2015 and has some 400 members, predominantly farmers that manage agricultural land.
There are 191 participants on the Brabant Biodiversity monitor (BBM). The participating dairy farmers can obtain a maximum reward of € 5,000 per year if they score points on 13 different durability indicators. For example ammonia emission, pasturing, remaining grass land and phosphate-soil surplus. The dairy farmer himself is in control and decides which measures to take to improve the scores on the indicators. The higher the score, the higher the reward.
Together with ANB Midden-Brabant, the ANB West-Brabant carries out this project, for the project Brabants Bodem (Brabant soil). Of the 13 indicators, 8 stem from JoinData. “These data could already be retrieved via JoinData, so it was only logical that we contacted them,” Maathuis tells. The participating dairy farmers must hand over an authorization in JoinData so ANB can retrieve that data.
It’s nice to be able to relieve the farmers
“Farmers already have a lot on their minds and are involved with their daily routine. They are happy that we relieve them this way. All they have to do is turn on the authorization and we take care of everything else. That works just fine. I do not notice any reluctance regarding the system.”
Normally, JoinData involves two-way traffic in data. For example a dairy organization supplies data, but can also get data back. This is not the case with BBM. Farmers supply data that ends up with ANB via JoinData.
“Fortunately, the system is not complicated for the user. I consider it important that a user gets a red carpet, as it were, showing him where to turn to. That is what’s happening here. Behind the scenes, JoinData is a complex system, but what is visible to the user, is easy enough.”
Zero measurement with five testers went well
The year 2020 was the zero measurement for JoinData and ANB West-Brabant. The project team checked whether the incoming data was correct and five farmers served as testers. “That went well. The five testers gave some practical suggestions, like the location on the screen where things should appear, but the technology was functional”, Maathuis tells.
From May 2021, all 191 participants have been in the system. “All they need to do is turn on their authorizations to make the data available for us. So far, 6 entrepreneurs have done this, so we need to chase the others,” says the treasurer, smiling. “For us, most of the preliminary work is done. At the end of this financial year, in April, a push of the button will give us all the output we need to start working. Next year, during the 3rd quarter, our participants will be paid.”
Maathuis, who used to be a vet, and was also always active in the ICT of veterinarian practices, personally created the project Biodiversity monitor within JoinData. He has another suggestion regarding this. “It would be great if, even during the preliminary phase of the project, there would be a hint from JoinData that something is still missing or incorrect in the application. Last time, I got a rejection initially, and had to create the project all over again, because of a simple typo. This can be made more user-friendly, but otherwise I am quite content with our partnership.”