Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Institute (

Building Agricultural Datahub for Ethiopia: an enabler for agricultural transformation and precision agriculture

Ethiopia's commitment to digital solutions in agriculture is admirable and inspiring, as exemplified by the recent introduction of the "National Digital Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services Roadmap to 2030." Embracing the digital economy requires a clear framework and procedure to ensure the availability of high-quality, standardized data, and Ethiopia is taking the necessary steps to achieve this.

Ethiopia is paving the way for a brighter future through its digital transformation aimed at fostering the growth of a digital economy. With the Digital Strategy 2025, the country is on a mission to revolutionize the national economy, focused on four key sectors: agriculture, manufacturing, IT-enabled services, and tourism. 

There is a significant gap in agricultural data despite many efforts to collect it. The data is scattered across different institutes and sectors, making it difficult to analyze.

Traditional methods, such as surveys, laboratories, and scientific publications were used to generate data, while advancements such as the internet of things (IoT), sensors, satellites, weather stations, and farm equipment were also leveraged.

However, the data is often stored in inconsistent and non-standardized formats, causing inefficiency and redundancy.

Lack of awareness regarding existing data in other institutes leads to redundant data collection efforts and resource wastage.

Data sources are frequently unknown to data consumers, necessitating manual data compilation from multiple websites.

Despite attempts to harmonize datasets and facilitate data sharing, progress has been limited due to the absence of a champion institution, limited capacity, inadequate cooperation between sectors and directorates, low technological readiness, and inadequate governance systems.

To address these challenges, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) in Ethiopia has taken proactive measures.

The MoA recently approved the "Soil and Agronomy Data Sharing Directive" which outlines guidelines for organized data sharing. Furthermore, the ministry has advanced the establishment of an integrated "Agricultural Data Hub," designed to host harmonized and standardized agriculture-related datasets in the country.

This will facilitate data access and sharing, and will be pivotal in fostering innovation for decision-support tools and advisories across various applications.

Ethiopian national partners, CGIAR centers, and private sector partners collaborated with the Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research in Africa (AICCRA) project to develop an integrated agricultural data hub.

The aim of this publicly-owned and operated hub is to serve as a centralized platform for Ethiopian government policymakers, agrometeorology experts, agricultural extension officers, farmers, value chain actors, and other end-users.

By consolidating, integrating, and upgrading existing systems, the data hub will provide comprehensive data, insights, and analytics required for evidence-based decision-making in agricultural operations.

Similar initiatives are being undertaken in other African countries as well, including Kenya, Senegal and Zambia.

The development of the agricultural data hub in Ethiopia involved intensive stakeholder workshops, expert-level meetings, and consultations with high-level officials at the Ministry of Agriculture.

The Alliance of Bioversity and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), supported by AICCRA, engaged national partners and conducted thorough assessments of data holders and accessibility.

This process helped define the design requirements of the agricultural data hub.

The Ministry of Agriculture provided valuable input, emphasizing the importance of a sustainable implementation process.

High-level discussions with crucial personnel further ensured alignment with government plans.

The Ministry recognizes the strategic value of the data hub and its potential to streamline reporting processes and address data challenges within the sector.

To maximize the utilization of national expertise, the Alliance formed a consortium of experts led by ACATECH Technology PLC to drive the development of the data hub.

Collaborating with various partners and subject matter specialists, ACATECH is responsible for developing the system's technical solution architecture, metadata standards, and data architectures.

The development of the data hub has gone through various processes, each with its unique challenges and opportunities.

The team has completed the initial steps and has now fully focused and committed to achieving the goal at the MoA.

The development of mini-hubs in other institutions such as the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) is another milestone that will help connect and strengthen the overall ag data hub network.

This achievement is not just about building a data hub, but also about creating a better future for agriculture and empowering farmers with data-driven insights.

Further information on Ethiopia's AgData Hub

For further information on the integrated national Ag DataHub,


Brook Tesfaye Makonnen - Communications and Knowledge Management Lead for Ethiopia & East and Southern Africa