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Open Agriculture Data Important To Improve Global Food Security

“The concept of open agriculture data fuses transparency and technology to improve food security worldwide; farmers, entrepreneurs, and researchers recognize the impact and potential of increasing access to information and are increasingly receiving high-level support,” Katherine Townsend, special assistant for engagement at USAID, writes in the agency’s “IMPACTblog.” She describes some of the programs that have improved smallholder farmers’ access to data to “enabl[e] better decision making on which crops to plant to yield the highest income,” with the aim of improving global food security. “In an increasingly networked and tech-savvy world, open data has the potential for more people to use information for social good, and USAID and global development goals directly benefit from increasing access to information,” Townsend writes, concluding, “Only through active and consistent participation can we ensure that information is timely, useful, and used. We can expect that these changes will come. Let’s get that information online and useable” (5/8).