Food safety group, Linux Foundation, to work on crop data • The Register
The CGIAR food security group is working with the Linux Foundation to standardize agricultural field data sharing globally.
The partnership aims to unify data standards and operational procedures to support the sharing and use of field boundary data, which they believe could benefit the 500 million smallholder farmers who produce around a third of the world food.
Sumer Johal, Executive Director of the AgStack Project at the Linux Foundation, said, “The CGIAR and the Linux Foundation are natural partners. Both are trusted intermediaries with global networks of partners, facilitating pre-competitive collaboration and products for the public good. Together, we can help break down the blocks around working with field data in a community-driven way.”
According to the AgStack project website, it “seeks to improve the efficiency of global agriculture through the creation, maintenance and improvement of a free, reusable, open and specialized digital infrastructure for data and applications”.
Food security is a growing concern in the face of climate change, population growth and events like Russia’s war in Ukraine, one of the world’s top three grain exporters, upending ‘Europe’s breadbasket’ .
As a result, the agricultural sector is increasingly turning to digitalization for the sake of optimization and efficiency, although the CGIAR and the Linux Foundation note that “the adoption and use of applications based on the data is still fragmented and culture-specific”.
The CGIAR’s Digital Innovation and Transformation (DI/DX) Initiative hopes to support the development of cost-effective digital innovations in agriculture, of which field data is a central component.
This data is important because it can be used to calculate yields and effectively guide inputs such as fertilizers and seeds. Financial service providers could also refer to the data to tailor loans and insurance to smallholder farmers.
Globally, the data could help researchers predict changes in the suitability of growing areas and prepare food systems for climate change.
“Global agriculture is increasingly driven by data. Sharing and exchanging well-described and reusable agricultural data can help develop solutions to some of the most pressing challenges in the global food system,” said Jawoo Koo, DI/DX Initiative Manager at CGIAR. .
“Despite growing demand, poor adoption of standards and the fragmentation of the digital agriculture sector have hindered access to the data needed to drive innovation. Our new partnership with the Linux Foundation aims to change that and serve a next-generation digital agrifood services with the speed and scale to revolutionize food, land and water systems.”
Based in Montpellier, France, the CGIAR was founded in 1971 and aims to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve human health and nutrition, and the sustainable management of natural resources.
It has an annual research portfolio of just over $900 million with over 9,000 staff working in 89 countries around the world and is funded by its members. ®