What is the vital data infrastructure for agriculture?

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Announcing a public consultation on an Agriculture Sector Package for the Open Data Charter

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Open data can play an integral role in achieving global food security. Photo credit: flöschen / CC BY 2.0.

As populations continue to grow and climate change threatens agricultural productivity, achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal of global food security is proving to be a challenging task. Open data can play an integral role in achieving global food security through enabling better decision making, transparency and innovation.

That’s why the International Open Data Charter (ODC) in conjunction with the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative, the Open Data Institute (ODI) and Open Data for Development (OD4D) network are developing a domain specific open data implementation guide for the agriculture sector.

The ODC sets out six core principles for governments to commit to moving towards in order to make data ‘open by default’. As part of realising this goal, the ODC has started the initiative of creating open data sector packages, each package developed by data users and publishers and tailored to the needs of the sector.

The Agriculture Sector Package is intended to be a resource for policy and decision makers to put open data into practice. The package aims to identify key datasets and categories based on the following criteria:

  1. The identified datasets contribute to solving three main challenges for global food security: sustainably increasing agricultural productivity, creating more resilient food production systems and creating more accessible and equitable markets.
  2. Opening the identified datasets should be actionable for national and regional governments leading to undisputed and tangible results.
  3. Scalability – the first version of this resource will only contain a small number of datasets within a clear scope rather than trying to address the agricultural sector in all its dimensions.

In order to maximise relevance, acceptance and applicability of the resource, this package will be developed using an open participative process. We welcome and encourage all contributions from agricultural specialists, open data experts, policy makers, researchers and others who have a vested interest in open data and agriculture to the first consultation process, from Friday 15 July until Sunday 31 July 2016.

Feedback from this consultation will be incorporated and discussed during a stakeholders’ workshop at the upcoming GODAN Summit being held on 15–16 September 2016 in New York.

Furthermore, a discussion on data standards in relation to the agricultural key datasets and categories will take place at the IODC conference on 6–7 October 2016 in Madrid.

The resulting Agriculture Sector Package will then be tabled for discussion with policy and decision makers at the OGP Global Summit on 7–9 December in Paris, alongside two other Open Data Charter Sector Packages (anti-corruption and climate change).

After the launch the Agriculture Sector Package will be kept up-to-date by GODAN, OD4D and ODI.

How to get involved

  1. Contribute to the consultation here.
  2. Become a GODAN partner.
  3. Attend the GODAN Summit, the IODC conference and/or the OGP Global Summit.

For further engagement in the development of the Open Data Charter Sector Package please see the Agriculture Sector Package Working Group.

For further enquires please contact agriculture@opendatacharter.net.

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