• Duration: 01.03.2023 – 29.02.2028
  • : Land use

FAIR Data Infrastructure for Agrosystems

Agriculture is facing increasing challenges, such as growing food demand but stagnating productivity, climate change, biodiversity loss and degradation of natural resources. Integrated research and data approaches across disciplines and scales are required to provide sustainable solutions. Existing agricultural research data infrastructures (RDIs) are heterogeneous and barely interlinked and lack uniform standards for research data management (RDM). Data is often stored locally or in non-accessible repositories due to the lack of expertise of data creators. However, a functioning RDM is an important prerequisite for integrated, cross-disciplinary research for future agriculture in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

FAIRagro is a community-driven initiative of NFDI4Agri and focuses on the agrosystem domain integrating important disciplines and scales needed to develop sustainable crop production and agroecosystems. In this proposal, we comprehensively address the reviewers’ comments on the previous NFDI4Agri proposal. FAIRagro focuses on the well-organised domain of agrosystem research to enable researchers a FAIR and quality-assured RDM to generate, publish and access relevant data, innovative RDM services and modern data science methods to support and advance agrosystem research. Based on an open call, the agrosystem community provided use cases to address current challenges for RDM. Six flagship use cases were selected to engage different user groups in the areas of crop breeding and phenotyping, crop nutrient- and pest management and digital farming. They address key research areas and will help scaling up the implementation and use of standards and services for key RDIs - piloting the FAIRification of agrosystem data.

We will establish the FAIRagro Portal as the central access point to our services and create an interoperable and scalable RDI by connecting available repositories to make research data FAIR. We will facilitate combined data analyses with a computational environment and predefined workflows. We will establish a multilevel support system by setting up a Data Steward Service Center, provide guidelines and information material, and focus on knowledge transfer for agrosystem researchers. FAIRagro will address quality and legal security challenges beyond the FAIR principles. Data quality will be ensured through the development of subject-specific quality metrics and curation systems. Privacy policies will be developed to ensure a balance between the interests of data providers and users – including approaches to handling sensitive data. Our aims will be accomplished by close collaboration with other NFDI consortia and the (inter)national community of agrosystem data users and providers. We will advance NFDI ambitions with expertise and approaches for legal data security challenges, stakeholder involvement and RDIs for highly interdisciplinary and multi-scale research in a field of high societal relevance.

Project lead (HSWT)


Lead of collaborative projects (external)


Adressierte SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)