The initiative is called ‘50 X 2030’ and was launched recently at the U.N. General Assembly.
The project will gather data from 50 nations across Africa, Asia and Latin America. The intention is to fill in a current information void. Basic pieces of data such as what crops farmers are planting, their yields and access to sources of finance are often missing or are unreliable.
“Each year, governments, businesses and the private sector invest hundreds of billions of dollars in agriculture and design policies without this critical information, said Emily Hogue, a U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) senior advisor.
“This could cause losses in agricultural productivity and income and could also lead to continuing hunger and poverty.”
With more accurate data the initiative’s organizers can see whether agricultural investments are making a difference. And if not, it is hoped that policies can be tailored to give farmers the help they need.
UN Sustainable Development Goal
This new initiative could go some way to helping eliminate hunger which is one of the 17 U.N. sustainable development goals (SDGs) agreed by world leaders in 2015.
For more details of this US$500-million global data project - read Big-data project aims to transform farming in world’s poorest countries - in this week's Nature magazine.