USAID Officials Join G-8 Ag Data Conference

Taylor HillmanGeneral, Industry News Release

Several U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officials will participate in the G8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture April 29-30 in Washington, D.C.

The conference will host agricultural leaders from around the world and will demonstrate the role of open data in increasing agricultural production, improving private sector growth, and ensuring global food security.

USAID Bureau for Food Security Assistant to the Administrator Paul Weisenfeld will join the official U.S. delegation, which is led by U.S.Department of Agriculture Secretary (USDA) Tom Vilsack. USAID Bureau for Food Security Chief Scientist Dr. Julie Howard and USAID Senior Data Coordinator Nathaniel Manning will also join the conference as representatives of USAID.

The conference will bring together innovators, food security experts, data scientists, and policy makers from around the world to discuss the importance of open agricultural data to increased food security. The U.S. and private sector partners will announce newly opened and accessible data sets. Innovators will present solutions that demonstrate the potential impact of sharing data. G-8 and African countries will devise action plans to open additional food security data and invest in projects that increase publicly and privately funded global agriculturally relevant data. This data will be accessible to the global public, including users in Africa, and will support a sustainable increase in food security in developed and developing countries.

Dr. Howard will be moderating a panel entitled: “Agricultural Open Data: Implications for Developing Countries.” The panel is expected to include representatives from Japan, Uganda, Mozambique, and the United States and will highlight how governments in developed countries make agriculture data open for others and accessible to farmers and the potential of open data as a significant resource and the implications to support increase in farmers’ productivity.

The conference follows a commitment made at the 2012 Summit around the launch of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, an effort by the G-8, partner governments, and the private sector to help lift 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa out of poverty by 2022 through inclusive agricultural growth. USAID contributes to the New Alliance through its leadership of Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.