For centuries, farmers have been isolated—geographically, economically, technologically. Big Data has the potential to transform agriculture in the 21st century and create a new global commons for agricultural knowledge that could allow farmers from Missouri to Myanmar to learn from one another.
Agriculture has always embraced technology, from ploughs to cell phones. Oliver Moore of Paris-based NGO, ARC 2020, discusses the digitization of agriculture and the power relations between corporates and agroecological farmers.
Crop modeling is just one form of agricultural research that may benefit from the unified approach of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture.
Sustainable intensification is one of the areas of agricultural research that is being transformed by Big Data. Through initiatives like the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture, researchers are helping farmers create complex accounting systems for their farms and increase productivity while decreasing the environmental impact of farming.
“If Google can do driverless cars, and we can tell a coffeemaker to start brewing while we’re still asleep,” Dr. Mercy Lung’aho tells Food Tank, “we can do something about malnutrition.”
Could making agricultural data open and accessible to everyone open the door to greater impact and better food system solutions?
Farmers have always been natural data scientists, conducting experiments and collecting data in their fields. Now, with the advent of Big Data, there are new opportunities to create information systems like the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture that can make farming more efficient, profitable, and sustainable.
The tools of Big Data hold a lot of promise for many industries including agriculture. But the expertise required to build a data management platform are still emerging. Dr. Medha Devare is an agronomist and data architect who is helping to lead the new CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture.
The launch of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture is an important milestone for the project of achieving global food security. Brian King, the Coordinator for the Platform, and Andy Jarvis, one of the founders of the Platform, discuss the ideas behind this initiative and their vision for the future of research in agricultural development.
The tools of Big Data analytics have led to transformations in many sectors—from finance to politics to professional sports. What could these new approaches to data science do for agriculture? The new CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture is leading the way for these innovations in agricultural development, with over 8,000 researchers working to incorporate Big Data into farming research.