Open data benefits for agriculture and nutrition
This issue of ICT Update (PDF) by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and Global Open Data for Agriculture & Nutrition (GODAN) portrays how GODAN and other stakeholders are creating a global open data movement in agriculture and nutrition from the perspectives of its users by showcasing some of the best practices and the most common challenges in this field. The article ‘The impact of open data on smallholder farmers‘ discusses the degree to which more freely available data could be of use to smallholder households and the current impact of existing open data initiatives. There is a lot potential, but a lack of reliable and contextualised data is currently working against smallholder farmers. Potential benefits for smallholder farmers are identified as increased participation and self-empowerment, improved or new products such as logistical, extension, financial, input and trade services, more efficient value chains with better access to markets, higher and less perishable yields, greater availability of inputs and better pest control. However, in general, the impact of open agricultural data in developing countries is low. Often, this is because the data needed to have local impact does not exist, or is not openly available. Meteorological data is an area where open data is starting to make a contribution to smallholders. The article refers to the working paper ‘Open data and smallholder food and nutritional security‘ (PDF) by CTA and Alterra. This working paper highlights corporate data sharing as the most effective channel for producing finely tuned information about the smallholder sector and providing better services to assist its development.