From global challenges to local ones: linking communities around the world

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How do you connect young students from the developed world with people living in a small village in Kenya? How can you fight to preserve local Italian seed varieties that are becoming extinct, even if you are at the other side of the planet? How can you link a grand challenge (like feeding the increasing population of the planet) to a very local one (like helping a rural area to become more attractive to young families)? In the context of the CAPSELLA project, we are trying to make these exact connections and put the collective brain power of people interested in solving the pressing problems that matter.… Click to read the full post

European Policy Perspectives on Data-intensive Agriculture & Food

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How do European officials working on agriculture and food topics deal with the emerging data revolution in the sector? How can they be aware of the recent developments in a way that may inform their thinking? And how can they respond to the community needs by appropriately shaping the policy programs and support instruments?

This was the topic of a meeting that took place in Brussels on September 30th, 2016. The meeting was organised by the Big Data Europe project, in collaboration with the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and Agroknow, being the Big Data Europe partners responsible for the food and agriculture sector, worked together with the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) in order to invite to the meeting representatives from the European Commission (EC) DGs and a select group of community stakeholders.… Click to read the full post

Can Europe lead a data revolution in agriculture and food?

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Let’s take a step to the near future.

A shared global data space for agriculture and food will propel the industry forward. Information will become available to all actors producing innovation. Analytical and decision making tools can incorporate a greater abundance of data sources. A digital economy may arise with online services and applications that use machine readable, interoperable and often publicly shared data. The necessary infrastructure components, including the technology, people, policy and business ones, may seamlessly integrate and work together.

 We believe that Europe is strategically positioned to lead such a transformation of the agriculture and food industry.Click to read the full post

What you need to know about the GODAN Summit 2016

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This year, the largest-ever event for open data in agriculture and nutrition, GODAN Summit will bring together the world leaders, researchers, farmers, students and others in New York. The two-day event (15-16 September, 2016) will include various lighting presentations and exhibits that illustrate the opening, sharing, use and importance of the agri-food information.

Encouraging the openness of data in agriculture and nutrition to end world hunger” is the key message to be addressed at the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) Summit.

During the event, a number of interesting speeches will be made from high-level profile world leaders and innovators who will share their thoughts on how open data can zero the world hunger and the malnutrition in every corner of the globe.… Click to read the full post

A Common Data Ecosystem for Agriculture and Food? #GODANsummit2016

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We believe that for a data revolution to happen, agriculture and food need a fabric of interoperable and interplaying infrastructure layers. Having such an infrastructure in place, will make data sharing and exchange as natural to us, as it is to use the road or rail infrastructure to move from one country to another. This may become possible by the creation of a common data ecosystem, where diverse stakeholders (from smallholders to multinational conglomerates) will both build and use the infrastructures that will propel the industry forward.

Some months ago, Syngenta (with GODAN’s assistance) commissioned Dean Allemang to write a discussion paper that would try to catalyse consensus around what form a global data ecosystem might take, how it could bring value to key players, what cultural changes might be needed to make it a reality, and finally what technology might be needed to support it.… Click to read the full post

From small to big agrifood data: A 100-year timeline

Source: http://bigdatatimeline.wageningenur.nl/en/

The Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR) is a Dutch public university in Wageningen, Netherlands, which consists of the Wageningen University and the former agricultural research institutes (Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek – DLO). WUR is one of the top institutes at a global level in the field of agri-food and environmental research.

As expected, such a large and active group of research institutes produces huge amounts of data – and WUR has developed the expertise throughout the years to make good use of big data in the agri-food research context. It has been almost one century (98 years, to be more precise) since WUR started collecting research data of various types, using various means and managing all this information and data so that it can be easily reused.… Click to read the full post

Call to Action: How can we improve agriculture, food and nutrition with open data?

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GODAN Discussion PaperWhile the GODAN Discussion Paper was presented during the International Open Data Conference 2015 (IODC15) , GODAN made a call for contributions on the theme of the Paper: “How can we improve agriculture, food and nutrition with open data?“.

The point is simple: What has been depicted in the report was the status of open data in agriculture and nutrition at a specific time, as seen by a limited number of people (the GODAN Secretariat, the ODI team and some more people, among others): Due to the tight deadline, it was not possible to contact as many people as we would like and to have their opinions expressed in the report; on top of that, there was a clear limitation in the total size of the report (regarding the number of pages), as a typical, long report would not be as usable and efficient as we would like it to be – and we wanted the report to be easy to use!… Click to read the full post

The GODAN Discussion Paper is now available

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GODAN Discussion PaperThe Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative has published a Discussion Paper titled “How can we improve agriculture, food and nutrition with open data?”

The Discussion Paper provides basic information on open data and the impact that open data have in different contexts, such as enabling more informed and effective decision making, creating innovation and promoting transparency that transforms the way organisations work for the better.

The Discussion Paper includes a number of use cases in which the use of open agri-food data has made an impact and improved the lives of million and aims to provide the mean for engaging agriculture and nutrition data-powered communities in discussions that will facilitate the sharing of data between data producers and consumers.… Click to read the full post

The GODAN Discussion Paper is (almost) ready to go public!

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It has been more than one month since I started working as an external consultant/researcher for the GODAN White Paper, after my tender for the corresponding GODAN/Open Data Institute call was accepted – this work is now (almost?) over. Since then, there has been a lot of work (and I mean a lot!) in the context of this report:

  • identified more than 30 use cases making use of open agri-food and nutrition data (less than half of them made it in the final version of the paper – I admit that some of them were weaker than the others),
  • drafted additional parts of the paper,
  • collected more than 40 related references (including publications, articles, blog posts, reports, presentations etc.),
  • interviewed several people looking for substantial feedback in terms of insights and quotes for the potential and current issues of open agricultural data,
  • compiled lists of open agri-food datasets, data sources and other types of resources (like repository software, data management software and other tools),
  • collected quotes and other bits from the preliminary GODAN survey results

This was a time-consuming analysis that was reported in about 35 pages, including text, lists and tables (also some images and screenshots at some point).… Click to read the full post

3rd International Open Data Conference 2015 (IODC15)

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OpenDataCon2015 logoThe 3rd International Open Data Conference 2015 (IODC15will take on May 28-29, 2015 in Ottawa, Canada. It is a global event jointly organized by the Government of Canada, Canada’s International Development Research Centre, and the World Bank. The Conference will engage sector and open data experts, senior government officials, industry leaders, and civil society champions from around the world in open discussions and collaborative work that will lead to a data revolution.

A number of friends and acquaintances of Agro-Know will be participating to the event, including Liz Carolan & Fiona Smith from the Open Data Institute (ODI), Cathie Woteki (USDA; yes, Nikos has actually met her!), Kim Mallalieu (we had the pleasure to meet her during the GODAN/CIARD Consultation Meeting in 2014), Federico Sancho (IICA) Martin Parr (CABI, a person really active in the agricultural knowledge community) and Ben Schaap (a precious member of the GODAN Secretariat).… Click to read the full post