Can harvesting data increase food security?

By Adi Menayang contact

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: GODAN
Photo: GODAN
Through speeches, exhibitions, and a hackathon, the Global Open Data on Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative’s summit this month addresses how sharing data can help end hunger.

Targeted to everyone in the food space from farmers to students, entrepreneurs to world leaders, the organization said that the GODAN Summit 2016​ is poised to be the “largest-ever event of its kind.

“[The] initiative was formed to support and encourage the proactive sharing of open data to make information about agriculture and nutrition available, accessible and usable for unrestricted use worldwide, to deal with the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security,” ​the organization said in a press release​.

Taking place on Sept. 15 and 16 in New York City at the New York Hilton Midtown, the summit will take place the same week of the UN General Assembly. Building up to the summit, GODAN and its partner Global Citizen organized a petition that calls on international governments, the private sector, and the public in general to provide open data on agriculture and nutrition to end world hunger. In the press release, GODAN said that this petition will be handed over at a meeting at the United Nations in New York.

GODAN believes open data can lead to “zero hunger by 2030”

The organization argues that sharing open data to make information on agriculture and nutrition available will help the world achieve UN Global Goal 2​, which is zero hunger by 2030, as well as “deal with the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security.”

At the summit, attendees have the opportunity to listen to speeches “by world leaders and innovators who will share their thoughts on how to end world hunger through open data.” ​Additionally, a hackathon will bring together software and agricultural innovators, which the organization said “will generate ideas on how to better utilize and collect data to improve our global food system.”

There will also be an exhibition showcasing agriculture and nutrition data, where participants will illustrate how to use open data sources and the importance of open data.

The attendee list: Ban Ki-Moon, Thomas Vilsack...

GODAN said its invited partners include the governments of the United States, Kenya, and the United Kingdom, ONE campaign​, and Presidents United to Solve Hunger​, a gathering of 70 leaders of 30 universities. Speakers include head of Novartis Foundation Ann Aerts, USDA secretary of agriculture Thomas Vilsack, and UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon.

With these key partners, the organization hopes more agriculture and nutrition data can be easily accessible.

“GODAN is convinced that the solution to Zero Hunger lies within existing, but often unavailable, agriculture and nutrition data. The goal is to make all agriculture and nutrition open—available, accessible and usable—for better policy and decision making to ensure no one goes to bed hungry,” ​the organization said.

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