Opening data to feed 9 billion people

Israel Bionyi Nyoh


Open data for agriculture and nutrition has long been identified by CTA and partners as what can help governments, civil society organisations, private sector, and smallholder farmers best tackle the challenge to feed 9 billion people by 2050.

But what is open data? Why is it important to make data open? What does it mean to different stakeholders? How can it be used to to create impact in agriculture and nutrition? What does it take to do that? And how do we generate data?

To answer all these questions, CTA’s Chris Addison, Senior Programme Coordinator for Knowledge Management chaired a session on ‘Opportunities for business innovations’ during the workshop ‘Creating Impact with Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition’ held on 10 -11 November, 2015 in The Hague, The Netherlands.

During the workshop, participants shared their views about open data:


For the government, Open Data is good for accountability and transparency as well as making information available to the population. Representing the Ghanaian government was Eric Kumah of the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), who see a real growth opportunity with Open Data although he recognises that there are challenges.


Private sector

For the private sector, Open Data is instrumental for decision-making and advocacy. However, the private sector will not wish to risk their business . Stacie Irwin of VOTO mobile, Accra, Ghana was there to provide her views on the private sector.

Civil Society generating local knowledge

 Busoga Rural Open Source and Development Initiative (BROSDI) is an organisation in Uganda that CTA has been supporting for a number of years through partnership and training. BROSDI are currently working to generate local knowledge with Open Data. Ednah Kiramagi, BROSDI’s executive director, gave more details of their work in this area

From the workshop, participants concluded that the impacts of Open Data on agriculture and nutrition could be identified when there is more innovation for governments, cost efficiency for the private sector and promotion of a sustainable living environment for civil society citizens.

The good news for the various stakeholders is that CTA is leading a data revolution, which aims to make more information available to farmers. To CTA, Open Data is critical for empowering agricultural and rural communities in ACP regions with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve food and nutrition security.

Take action

Have a look at the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) site for more information on Open Data for agriculture and nutrition and consider joining the GODAN initiative to make more data open  and available to put into use.