GODAN Tackles Food Security

In a news release today, The Global Open Data for Agriculture & Nutrition (GODAN) initiative, a 500 member organisation supported by national governments, non-governmental, international and private sector organisations that propagates for open data in agriculture and nutrition to scientifically combat world hunger and food security, partnered with the Global Forum of Innovation in Agriculture the world's largest dedicated expo of sustainable agriculture solutions, to spotlight the business case for open data.

Open innovation, including open data, is figuring more prominently in food and agricultural businesses' strategies as is the conversation around pre-competitive spaces and how they may benefit all. Through a partnership with GFIA, GODAN is showcasing stories of the impact and value of open data in agriculture, food and nutrition for businesses to help them make profitable strategic decisions. With the support of its industry-leading members, GODAN is also exploring how open data and standards can foster open innovation and collaborative research as has been seen in other industries. 

GFIA Europe 2017: New ideas to face old challenges

The first day of the inaugural GFIA Europe event saw many highlights including the keynote sessions, which featured discussions around climate change and food security and how they have shown the importance of the introduction of new agricultural technologies and the development of existing ones.  

The opening session was led by The Dutch Minister for Agriculture, H.E. Martijn van Dam who spoke of the myriad of challenges faced by the world and the need to innovate and find new ways to produce food.

The Government of Netherlands is a major advocate of the case for open data and recently launched a “Data Cube” to provide a system by which government data is made available to the population, especially within the agriculture industry. The initiative will expand through public private partnerships, and the Government has extended support to the private sector globally to expand the adoption of open data.  

Minister van Dam confirmed the role of open data in being a key driver in positioning The Netherlands’s agriculture sector as one of the most innovative and productive compared to other parts of the world. He invited other nations to follow suit and open data to establish leadership in innovation similar to the Netherlands where its agriculture industry is 20 times more productive than some global competitors as a result of embracing open data, and to address the global food security challenge.

The Minister for Agriculture spoke of The Netherlands’ aim to lead food production within 10 years. “We support and encourage this merging of data…and agriculture” he said, citing the recent purchase of data sets for farmers. Discussing the advancements in the Netherlands in the kind of crops planted and used for food production - including seaweed - Minister van Dam said “It’s not only about innovating agriculture - we need to change the menu.”

He adds: “We have to operate smarter and more sustainably”, warning that the consumption and production at the current rate would mean “we will need another planet”.

The first day of the GFIA conference also saw the confirmation of the successful launch 104 micro satellites from GFIA sponsor Planet. The 104 satellites will help to provide free agricultural data to the entire Earth, supporting Europe’s Copernicus programme and NASA’s own monitoring capabilities and creating even more in-depth data.

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