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.
Small-scale farmers in the tropics face many challenges. However, Dr. Ruben Echeverría of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture remains hopeful.
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.
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.
At the intersection of climate change, agriculture, and economy, strategic foresight modeling looks ahead to inform better decisionmaking 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.
Research organizations are working with local farmers and bakers to incorporate cassava flour into bread, with significant positive impacts for whole regions.
CIAT, The Nature Conservancy, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences examined global soil samples and developed sequestration potential maps that can assist in developing mitigation strategies for reaching the targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement.