International Project to Use Big Data to Help Poor Farmers Worldwide

Big Data

As poverty is still a problem to be solved, International groups are now working to big data to help poor farmers worldwide. / Photo by: Kuzkid via Wikimedia Commons


As the issue of poverty remains to be a top concern around the world, a lot of projects have been put in place to solve the issue, and they range from applying new forms of technology to creating dynamic systems to alleviate the plight of the poor. In fact, just recently, a combined effort from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and different national governments have launched a $500 million effort to help developing countries all over the world gather information on small-scale farmers to help combat hunger and to promote growth in both urban and rural sectors.

This program, which is designed to run all the way through 2030, has the goal of bridging a wide gap in data on what exactly are the more than 500 million poor farmers doing in the 50 countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. The need for information is crucial for the authorities so that they can streamline existing agricultural systems or create more efficient ones to help improve those farmers’ output and, as a direct result, also their income. The project will do this by expanding their surveys to make sure they gather even more data for analysis, the result of which will be used to come up with new plans to help the farmers better.

The data will include seed varieties, the farmers’ income and the level of their technological know-how. These will help the project in determining if the current agricultural investments in the respective regions are actually making a difference. It is also hoped that the data gathered will spur governments to come up with policies that are specifically aimed to give farmers the assistance they truly need.

Claire Melamed, the head of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data in London, said, “What’s exciting is that governments and donors are making big commitments for the long-term.” She also recognized the importance of information. “Data becomes more valuable the longer you invest in it,” she said.