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The initiative aims to enable global collaboration among industry, government and academia.

The Linux Foundation has unveiled a new open source digital infrastructure project aimed at the agriculture industry. The new project is going by the name of the AgStack Foundation. It seeks to promote collaboration among all key stakeholders in the global agriculture space, spanning private business, governments, and academia.

As with other industries, digital transformation has been growing across the agriculture sector. This has resulted in new connected devices for farmers and a wealth of AI, ML and automated tools. These new technologies help to optimize crop growth and circumvent critical obstacles, such as labor shortages.

Open source technologies bring the added benefit of data and tools that any party can reuse for free. This in turn lowers the barrier to entry and helps companies avoid the trap of proprietary software operated by a handful of big players.

Sustaining the “global data infrastructure” for agriculture

The Foundation announced the new project in a website post this week. “AgStack Foundation will build and sustain the global data infrastructure for food and agriculture,” they claim. This in turn will “help scale digital transformation and address climate change, rural engagement and food and water security,” they add.

The founding members and contributors to AgStack include global technology and agriculture leaders industries. These include Agralogics, Call for Code, Centricity Global, Digital Green, Farm Foundation, farmOS, HPE, IBM, Mixing Bowl & Better Food Ventures, NIAB, OpenTeam, Our Sci, Produce Marketing Association, Purdue University / OATS & Agricultural Informatics Lab, the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC-ANR) and University of California Santa Barbara SmartFarm Project.

Sumer Johal, Executive Director of AgStack, described the project’s mission. “The global Agriculture ecosystem desperately needs a digital makeover. There is too much loss of productivity and innovation due to the absence of re-usable tools and data,” he said.

“I’m excited to lead this community of leaders, contributors and members – from across sectors and countries – to help build this common and re-usable resource – AgStack – that will help every stakeholder in global agriculture with free and open digital tools and data,” he added.