The breakthroughs in digital technology and agricultural innovation of the last decade are giving farmers more and more opportunities to move towards more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable management principles. An integral part of these principles is efficient and modern information management, and convenient and timely access to relevant information resources, knowledge base, tools for their management and implementation in practice is necessary to enable Lithuanian farmers and increase the efficiency of the country's agricultural sector.
Currently, public open access information systems provided by public authorities provide farmers and other stakeholders with access to various information relevant to agricultural planning, such as soil type, particle size distribution, productivity, crop type, associated protection zones, etc. However, such public open access systems do not allow the non-professional user to interact with this information for the purposes of planning and implementing agricultural activities. They also have limited scope for data integration with data provided by third parties, such as regular open access data provided by satellite-based Earth observation systems. The integration of different GIS data would enable farmers to obtain aggregated and comprehensive information relevant to farm activities and crop monitoring indicators, but there are currently no open access platforms for this type of action.
It is important for a modern farmer not only to know the specifics of his managed fields or monitoring indicators, but also to be able to use advanced, scientific or good practice-based analysis models, spreadsheets and recommendation systems. Currently, farmers have very limited access to models based on the latest research when planning agrochemical measures on farms, assessing risk factors or formulating preventive action plans. Advanced models of this kind are characterized by complexity and the need for detailed real farm data, which complicates the formation of a knowledge base for farmers, its dissemination and the development of advanced farm management principles.
Also, some areas related to agricultural activities are not yet sufficiently digitized. One of them is the management of farm production sales processes. When selling their products to processing, purchasing or export companies, a modern Lithuanian farmer usually receives accompanying documentation from these companies in printed form. This includes all documentation of product sales processes - conclusion and signing of contracts, issuance of acceptance-transfer documents or receipt of results of tests of sold products. The exchange of these printed documents takes place by post or physically, which causes additional inconvenience and time to the farmer. In the context of rapidly evolving agricultural innovations, it is also important to mention that in order to manage this documentation, the farmer has to manually enter information into the information systems he uses and has difficulty using it to monitor and manage more complex farm processes. The main reason for this situation is that farms selling farm products use different internal documentation systems and due to limited resources and narrow specialization do not have the possibility to systematically and securely supply these documents in digital form to the farmer. An integrated, open standards digital system using common standards, which would be able to properly, conveniently and securely aggregate documentation provided by all elevators and companies with which the farmer cooperates would significantly contribute to the latter's information needs and enable more efficient planning and management of farm processes.
The project aims to create an Agricultural Open Access Information and Integrated Services Platform - an advanced digital system for the integration of information resources relevant to agricultural activities and enabling the emergence, implementation and development of new digital services on farms. The system is unique in that it is directly focused on application in the activities of Lithuanian farms, seeks to realize the information needs of farmers and provide innovative and interactive open access tools for efficient farm management. The main goal is to enable farmers to use these resources in their farm activities and management, to encourage the uptake of innovations and the development of new solutions.
The platform to be developed consists of three main interconnected parts: