Data is much more than simply information: in expert hands, it is intelligence. The rapid growth in processing power and global connectivity means we can now quickly collect, share and analyze enormous amounts of data and turn it into recommendations that can be of use to farmers and policymakers.
Applying these ‘big data’ approaches to agriculture promises to find new ways to reduce hunger and poverty, and develop robust responses to challenges such as climate change, pest and disease outbreaks, and land degradation. It could help reduce some of the daily risks farmers in developing countries face, enabling them to thrive.
As the largest network of agricultural research organizations in the world, CGIAR is uniquely positioned to be a thought leader and global convener on the use of big data and information technology in agriculture. To ensure that "information = impact," CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture announces the Inspire Challenges, an initiative to encourage partners, universities, and others to use CGIAR data to create pilot opportunities that scale.
Through the Challenges, the Platform seeks to show the power of big data analytics and ICTs to provide unprecedented multi-disciplinary data to researchers, delivering actionable information to farmers and inspiring others to use big data to create impact. CGIAR Big Data is looking for novel approaches, that democratize big data to include smallholder farmers and monitor the state of agriculture and food security in real time to inform critical national, regional, and global policies and decisions that ultimately help people, especially smallholder farmers, lead happier and healthier lives.
Inspire Challenge topics include:
To learn more about CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture and how to apply for the Inspire Challenges, please visit http://bigdata.cgiar.org/inspire/ or click on a Challenge topic listed above.
This post draws from material on the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture website. The Platform for Big Data in Agriculture harnesses the power of big data for agricultural research and development. Led by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), it is one of three CGIAR research platforms.