Skip to main content

Open Data Revolution to Fight Global Hunger

Posted by Jaime Adams, Senior Advisor for International Affairs, Office of the Chief Scientist in Research and Science Food and Nutrition
Jun 02, 2017
Thumbnail
USDA-NRCS rangeland scientist Emilio Carrillo uses an open data mobile app called LandPKS for sustainable land use management.

Every day, people around the world use data to make decisions.  When heading out of town, most of us use weather apps to check the forecast anywhere in the world before packing our bags.  However, when we travel to far-flung places, we may find ourselves packing food from home because we don’t know what may be available when we arrive.  We have a global, comprehensive, open data set that enables weather forecasting, but not something similar for food and agriculture?

In his first public remarks as head of USDA, Secretary Sonny Perdue noted that “…we want to make decisions based on facts and evidence,” “we want to be data-driven,” and “I need good data, I need good sound science to make decisions on…”

USDA recognizes that farmers, ranchers, and consumers alike - use data daily, from deciding when to plant, harvest or sell their crops, when to turn out cattle to pasture, or where to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.  This is why it is important that data be made available, open and accessible, to facilitate the best-informed decisions.

Around the world, a movement called the “open data revolution” is under way to make data available for public use.  This movement is expected to generate new insights, drive better decision-making, and enable governments, civil society, and the private sector to better target interventions and programs.

All of this is why the U.S. Government, led by USDA, was a founding partner of the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative and why it continues to support the advancement of open data for agriculture and nutrition around the world.  Now with over 500 partners, GODAN continues to support the sharing of available, accessible, and usable open data for agriculture and nutrition to help ensure global food security.

If we’re going to feed over 9 billion people by 2050, we need open data policies to make decisions based on facts and evidence. This global perspective will help identify data already available and data gaps that exist, and sharpen the focus on how open data can foster innovation and collaborative research, creating whole new kinds of growth around the world.

Write a Response

CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Comments

Jennifer A Dalton
Jun 06, 2017

I am "All In" we all have a part in this, to help fill the gaps and fuel the data and feed are fellow man!

Jack Okamuro
Jun 06, 2017

Great job Jaime!

Erick
Jun 11, 2017

I hope and pray one day my family and I will be able to contribute to this amazing cause. We are new to Texas and farming but we all have to start some where.

Casandra Leitch
Jun 11, 2017

I'm in full support of this!! As an epidemiologist, we need this data to help find the needs and understand the issues regarding food and nutrition. Thank you for this initiative.

Dena
Jun 12, 2017

When are we going to feed the children that go hungry in this country? Are ya'll working on that with other groups?

Ben Weaver
Jun 12, 2017

@Dena - thank you for your comment. There are a number of programs that work to end child hunger in America, including SNAP, the school lunch and breakfast programs, summer meals programs and more, administered through the Food and Nutrition Service. To learn about those programs, please visit: www.fns.usda.gov

Karen
Jun 15, 2017

Let's go vegan! Eliminating animal agriculture is a great way to feed more people while using less land and fewer resources. Whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables are the healthiest foods. And they are cheap! We would have a much healthier world if we at least drastically reduced our consumption of animals and animal products :)

Kevin
Jun 16, 2017

@Karen. Fortunately, when God created this amazing world he provided us with an abundance of food resources. Animals were created to be part of that food resource. If we were to stop eating animals all together, could you imagine the astronomical rate of growth in those animal populations and the degradation to the landscape they would cause trying to find enough food to feed them. Then, once they can't find enough food, what are we to do with them then? I think we are on the right path with educating everyone on how to raise healthier animals while taking care of the land too. We can't feed more with less and when you remove animals from the list of available food resources, you remove a lot from a hungry world.

OLÁWUNI Mustapha
Jun 23, 2017

I stand with "open data revolution", this will make farmers make informed decision on when, how and where to cultivate, harvest and carry out other agricultural practices with a view to feeding ourselves and the world around us.

As a Nigerian I am in support of this as our true economy lies in agriculture.

OLÁWUNI Mustapha
Jun 23, 2017

I stand with "open data revolution", this will make farmers make informed decision on when, how and where to cultivate, harvest and carry out other agricultural practices with a view to feeding ourselves and the world around us.

As a Nigerian I am in support of this as our true economy lies in agriculture.