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GODAN, in collaboration with the Open Data Institute, yesterday launched a discussion paper: How can we improve agriculture, food and nutrition with open data? at the 3rd International Open Data Conference in Ottawa (IODC). The paper highlights how open data is already making a difference in the agriculture and nutrition sectors.

CABI is a partner of the growing Global Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) network, an initiative that promotes the use of open data to help decision-making by governments, businesses, farmers and consumers. Open data has the potential to help address the global challenge such as ensuring food security in an era of climate change and with a rapidly population that is set to reach 9 billion by 2050.

Yesterday’s paper includes case studies ranging from a mobile phone app used in Ghana that provides farmers with weather data to a project in California that helps consumers avoid food-related illness by choosing restaurants based on their hygiene ratings. The debate in Ottawa should help identify real world problems in agriculture and nutrition where open data could and should make a difference.

Huge amounts of data are generated on weather, pests and diseases and commodity prices, which can only be used to solve problems if the data is open – available, accessible and in a format that can be used. GODAN aims to promote the release of open data to provide practical solutions and create innovative ways of working across the sector for the benefit of farmers and consumers.

The potential for open data to deliver sustainable agricultural systems and improve decision making has yet to be fully understood but GODAN is growing rapidly with over 120 partners and the debate at the IODC this week seeks to identify real life problems in the sector that open data could help solve.

To find out more about joining GODAN network contact or fill in the online registration at

By Jo Shockley, Strategic Communications Advisor, GODAN

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