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.
“No country has a monopoly on the problem [of malnutrition], so no country has a monopoly on the solution: we all have to work together,” says Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition.
Mariame Maiga of WECARD/CORAF talks about how confronting gender inequity in Africa is a daily obligation for anyone working in agricultural research and sustainable development.
The future of the food system requires training new experts to treat the industry differently, says Dean of Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy Dariush Mozaffarian.
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.
Dutch startup Mosa Meat secured US$8.8 million funding to mass-produce slaughter-free meat by 2021. The startup produced the world’s first hamburger in 2013 made by growing cow cells in a laboratory instead of slaughtering an animal.
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.
Crop Trust’s Crop Wild Relatives program is bringing together top research institutions, farmers, and eaters to find the best way to boost crop resilience: the genetic material of their ancient relatives.
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.