A Roadmap of Open Data policy in Agriculture and Nutrition. From drawing to implementation

In the frame of the Ministerial Conference on Global Open Data for Agriculture & Nutrition & 4th Agritec Africa International Exhibition (14 - 16/06/2017, Nairobi, Kenya)the great commitment was reached between 15 African ministers, to draw and implement a Roadmap for the implementation of Open Data policy in Agriculture and Nutrition in their respective countries, with implementation and reporting mechanisms. The Ministerial Conference therefore resolved to take urgent actions to achieve sustainable agriculture, reduce food insecurity and nutritional challenges.

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 places focus on Agriculture, specifically putting it as a goal to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by the year 2030.

During the official opening of the Ministerial Conference on Open Data and Nutrition and the 4th Agritec Africa International Exhibition, Mr. Zachary Mwangi (the Director General of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics) pointed out that the 2030 Agenda recognizes the need to use data for decision making underscoring the importance of quality, accessible, timely and reliable disaggregated data to help with the measurement of progress and to ensure no one is left behind ...

This essay highlights some key points from the Conference Bulletin (GODAN, 2017, PDF attached) that reports on the outcomes of the Ministerial Conference on Agriculture & Nutrition & 4th Agritec Africa International Exhibition, in particular - on how to implement an effective Open Data Policy framework in Agriculture and Nutrition for countries in Africa.

Open Data is data that anyone can access, use or share. It can help shape solutions by enabling more efficient and effective decision-making at multiple levels across the [agricultural] value chain, fostering innovation via new services and applications, and driving organizational change through transparency.

The Ministers for Agriculture and high level representatives of Governments, who met in Nairobi, Kenya, from 14 to 16 June 2017stated the following

We recognize that data and innovation

creates opportunities for people to influence their lives and future, reduce poverty, increase productivity, create jobs and participate in decision making.

We underscore that sustainable agriculture

can only be achieved with a broad alliance of people, particularly women and youth, governments, small holder farmers, civil society and the private sector, working together to secure a world that is food secure, without hunger and malnutrition.

We therefore resolve to take urgent actions

to achieve sustainable agriculture, reduce food insecurity and nutritional challenges by constituting an African Intergovernmental Network on Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition, under the auspices of GODAN.

We therefore decide to establish

an Intergovernmental coordination mechanism to support the network.

We therefore further request the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Alliance for a Green Revolution (AGRA) and other partners

to support Governments ascribed to the Intergovernmental Network on Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition, to strengthening their internal systems to produce timely, accurate and reliable data for Agriculture and Nutrition.

We therefore request the Secretariat of the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN)








[The GODAN initiative is pushing for open data for Agricultural development and food security, however, agriculture in the broader sense is also linked to trade, licensing of businesses, resource allocation, infrastructure development e.g. feeder roads and other broader functions that have a direct link to agriculture]. 

to continue their support in the aspects of and not limited to:

(i)  Ensuring that developing countries are supported to benefit from the network and those that are not yet members, encouraged to join;

(ii) Avail network capacity and capabilities on agriculture data that is responsive to the contexts and challenges of the developing world;

(iii) Equip developing countries with insights and guidance to allow them to release and reuse data in support of Innovation and Economic Growth, Improved Service Delivery and Effective Governance, and Improved Environmental and Social Outcomes;

(iv) Provide support for developing countries to sustain national level platforms for agriculture open data that are interoperable.

Mr. Zachary Mwangi concluded by saying that “Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) is one of those partnerships that truly reflects this multi-stakeholder ecosystem in support of developing countries”.

From now onwards ... -  "Every step in agriculture will be centered on data": 

  • Putting efforts for data access,
  • Build capacity locally for coordinating national plans to achieve goals,
  • Engage with farmers directly and guide them on farming basics,
  • Ensure there’s evidence-based data and not passive based data,
  • ...

"Let’s work to encourage cross border networking and sharing, explore formation of South-South data sharing with other nations", - Dr. Muchiri Nyaggah - closing remarks.


Glance down at the full Conference Bulletin (14-16 June 2017 KICC, Nairobi Kenya, GODAN) - HEREto get more insights. Good reading !



Related content: 


Add comment

Log in or register to post comments