GFAR Launches Platform To Make Agricultural Data More Available

Steven Gnatovich | Food Tank | April 10, 2014

In an effort to make agricultural research more widely available, The Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) officially launched the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) platform in October of 2013. The GODAN program, born from the 2012 G8 conference, “Open Data in Agriculture,” is designed to make agricultural data open, shared and available. According to Kerry Albright, Senior Agricultural Research Analyst at the U.K. Department for International Development and a leader on the project, “we have a vision of a data revolution for the agriculture and nutrition sectors, fueled by openness and believe that open data can help combat food insecurity today while laying the groundwork for a sustainable agricultural system to feed a population that is projected to be more than nine billion by 2050.”

The 27 members of the United Nations High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on post-2015 development goals agree, a data revolution is needed. Proponents of open data argue that the lack of “institutional, national, and international policies and openness of data limits the effectiveness of agricultural and nutritional data from research and innovation.” Simply, if research data is not available for use, then the data is not adding actionable value.