Open Data for Ag Key to Food Security

Cindy ZimmermanData Collection, General, USDA

open-dataInnovators and private sector partners are being urged to participate in the G-8 Open Data for Agriculture meeting coming up later this month in Washington DC to help “facilitate the transfer of scientific research and information in a broad range of areas from best agricultural practices, to research, biotechnology, irrigation, extension services and applied technology.”

The goal of the conference on April 29-30 is to “Obtain commitment and action from nations and relevant stakeholders to promote policies and invest in projects that open access to publicly funded global agriculturally relevant data streams, making such data readily accessible to users in Africa and world-wide, and ultimately supporting a sustainable increase in food security in developed and developing countries.”

In a column for Agri-Pulse, Friends of the World Food Program founder Marshall Matz noted that precision agriculture technology “can increase productivity including the productivity of smallholder farmers. Wireless technology, with GPS, may be one of the few areas where Africa is ahead of the United States.”

Matz believes that this meeting, which grew out of last year’s G-8 Summit commitment to a new Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, can have a major impact on global food security. “Africa is the key to global food security and Open Data for Agriculture can make the difference,” he said.

Find out more here.