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Open Data Can Help Feed a Hungry World

Posted by Dr. Cathie Woteki, Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics, U.S. Department of Agriculture in Food and Nutrition
Feb 21, 2017
FAO Hunger Map 2015
Percentage of the population suffering from undernourishment, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) report. Climate change will likely exacerbate food insecurity in already-struggling areas. Source: FAO Hunger Map 2015.

Today with over 7 billion people on Earth, nearly 800 million people struggle with debilitating hunger and malnutrition in every corner of the globe. That’s one in every nine people, with the majority being women and children. Experts tell us we currently produce enough food to feed everyone, so why do so many people go to bed hungry every day? We believe that by making agriculture and nutrition data available, accessible, and usable for unrestricted use worldwide, we will enable the creation of innovative solutions to eliminate hunger.

Poor connections between production and distribution, limited knowledge sharing about what crops grow best where, and incomplete access to information about agricultural markets all contribute to global food insecurity. Agriculture and nutrition data can help.

On September 15-16, in New York City, the first-ever Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Summit will take place. The United States Government is proud to join our fellow GODAN partners and Summit visionaries, the Governments of Kenya and the United Kingdom along with the ONE Campaign and Presidents United to Solve Hunger (PUSH) in supporting the development of the largest event ever planned for open data in agriculture and nutrition. The GODAN Summit will be productive, educational, and it is going to be fun. Plenary speakers, breakout sessions and a Hackathon will address the GODAN Summit goals to illustrate the opening, the use and the importance of agriculture and nutrition data.

The GODAN initiative seeks to support global efforts to make relevant agricultural and nutrition data available, accessible and usable for unrestricted use worldwide. GODAN brings together more than 330 partners from public, private and non-profit organizations, and national governments to build high-level policy and institutional support for open data. The U.S. is a founding member and active supporter of GODAN. We believe in the importance of opening these data to combat hunger, promote innovation, create economic opportunities, empower farmers and improve the health of all consumers.

Become a GODAN partner today!

In addition to these events, the GODAN Summit will highlight the GODAN Petition hosted by fellow GODAN partner Global Citizen. The petition allows people around the world to join the Open Data Revolution to end global hunger by calling on world leaders to get every government, non-governmental, international and private sector organization to make agriculture and nutrition data available, accessible, and usable.

I will be at the #GODANSummit2016, and hope to see you there, too.  Register today!

Category/Topic: Food and Nutrition

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Mary Garcia
Aug 19, 2016

This is my first time at this site. Although somewhat off-topic, I would like to point out that the map at the beginning of the article does not have a key. The caption reads that it is a representation of "percentage of the population suffering from undernourishment..." I'm sure the darker the color, the more undernourishment issues, but a key re: percentages would be helpful. Thank you very much for the information on GODAN and the summit.
Ms. Mary Garcia (retired RN)