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From the 5th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

IBM + Yara: Building a Digital Farming Platform

Winner in Business to Business

Entered in Environment & Sustainability


The world’s population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, according to the UN. As climate change—extreme weather, soil loss, migration pressures—continues to affect the Earth’s ability to produce food, the agriculture industry is turning to technology for help.

Norway-based Yara, one of the world’s largest fertilizer producers, is on a mission to create a sustainable world without hunger. To do this, Yara partnered with IBM to ignite their journey to become a Cognitive Enterprise and build one of the world’s leading digital farming platforms. A Cognitive Enterprise embraces the convergence of new exponential technologies such as AI, automation, IOT, blockchain, and 5G, combined with human and enterprise experience to change business models, reinvent processes, and reimagine the way work gets done. This platform is an industry-wide business solution that connects and empowers independent farmers through data. It uses IoT sensors, AI and Weather Data from IBM's The Weather Company to provide hyperlocal weather forecasting, crop damage prediction and real-time recommendations. The platform also paves the way for other advanced technologies that provide full visibility of the provenance of food to consumers purchasing it. 

Strategy and Execution

To tell this story, we needed to bring together the combined knowledge and expertise or Yara and IBM while incorporating the human side of the end user. The result was a suite of assets, highlighted by a documentary video that features two individual farmers - one a coffee farmer from Columbia and the other a vegetable farmer from Germany - intertwined with experts from Yara and IBM speaking about this industry changing platform. The video communicates that farms are largely fragmented and unique to every country and region, and are disconnected from one another. Reaching 620 million farm families one-by-one around the world is a challenge. Through the platform, farmers gain better knowledge of their immediate surroundings, and the insights from data can better inform others globally so they can yield better crops year after year. The result was a compelling story that showcased not only the solution delivered, but also how the end user has benefitted. 

Ultimately, this video demonstrates how Yara with the help of IBM, built a digital farming platform that empowers independent farmers while expanding its business model and create a competitive differentiator in the industry.

The video was supported by a client story webpage, thought leadership articles, and a PR push that included a partnership with Bloomberg, and a presence at the World Economic Forum in Davos early in 2020.


This story demonstrates the true business value and solutions that are possible for the betterment of the world.
Some highlighted results:

• As of August 2020, over 1,300,000 farmers have downloaded this platform and is transforming existing supplier relationships and expanding its value.

• 5,615 Organic views on YouTube with a 98.5% thumbs up positive sentiment

• The video was featured on IBM client story page which resulted in an over 30% engagement rate



Video for IBM + Yara: Building a Digital Farming Platform

Entrant Company / Organization Name

IBM Originals


Entry Credits