HESTIA Farm Sustainability Toolkit (HESTIA FST)

Researcher name: Joseph Poore, (Co-PI) EJ Millner-Gulland. (Co-PI)

Researchers: Viola King Forbes, Valentina Caldart, Qingling Wu, Henry Travers.

HESTIA. https://www.hestia.earth

Funder: Login5

Period: 2022 - 2026

Outline of research: 

This project, entitled HESTIA Farm Sustainability Toolkit, will seek to deliver a step-change in enabling farmers to optimise their productivity and environmental sustainability, by enabling them to quantify their performance in a consistent and comparable way.

During this project we will extend the HESTIA data platform to allow anyone to easily use our models and data. We will expand HESTIA to specifically target farmers by connecting one or more existing farm-tools to HESTIA via an enhanced version of our API. We will then field-test these tools with farmers in a range of contexts, first to ensure that the API meets farmers’ needs, and second to quantitatively assess how effective it is at promoting real change in farmer practices. This assessment will provide critical evidence to policymakers, NGOs, and funders of agricultural development.

We will also explore mechanisms that could increase adoption of farm sustainability monitoring and further incentivise behavioural change by farmers. Throughout the project we will engage closely with our funder, the Login5 Foundation, to ensure cross-fertilisation of ideas and synergies. We will also engage with NGOs, government agencies, farmers, and agricultural companies to help us build a better tool and to encourage its broadscale adoption

 

Objectives:

1) Enable farmers worldwide to monitor and benchmark their environmental impacts.

2) Provide advice to farmers on how to reduce their impacts.

3) Quantify how much farmers reduce their impacts when they are enabled in this way.

4) Explore mechanisms that could further incentivise behavioural change by farmers.

 

Summary of planned activities: 

HESTIA development:
Data expansion, particularly on wheat and maize.
Improve data structure.

Toolkit Building:
Enable benchmarking.
Build general and personalised advice engine.

Tool integration:
Integrate HESTIA's data, format, and API with existing digital farm tools.
Validate data input by users.

Partnership building:
Collaborate with existing digital tools and their user base.
Fundraise for years 3-5.

Field Trials:
Measure the effect of our digital tools on farmers in the UK and Kenya.
Analyse and publish the trial results.

Stakeholder engagement:
Present results to researchers, businesses, and policymakers to inform action on how to act at scale.

 

(Planned) Project outputs:

Partnerships with farmers, existing digital tools, and fellow food sustainability researchers.

Integration between HESTIA and multiple digital tools that are already being used by farmers.

Evidence on how digital tools affect farmer behaviour in our case study sites.

Insight into scaling opportunities for digital solutions