Today, nearly 800 million people worldwide are extremely hungry and malnourished, with majority living in Sub-Saharan Africa- a place with vast arable lands. Experts have shown that the food produced in these lands and globally is enough to feed everyone, yet millions of primary school-age children attend classes hungry.
In Nigeria, about 1.7 million children are acutely malnourished and this is responsible for nearly half (45%) of all deaths in children under five each year, according to UNICEF.
Facts from World Bank showed that 82 million hectares of land in Nigeria are found to be arable yet they are either underutilized, mismanaged and abused. This is because of inadequate data and information on lands and agricultural investment, which could have helped farmers to solve their challenges and increase their food production capacity.
Farming in Nigeria and Africa has continued to suffer due to poor connection between production and distribution, limited knowledge sharing about what crops grow best and where it should grow and incomplete access to information about agricultural markets.
The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), believes the solution lies with opening data on agriculture and nutrition.
The GODAN initiative seeks to encourage world leaders to make their data in agriculture and nutrition open so that it is freely available and usable worldwide for better policy and decision-making by 2050, when the global population is expected to hit 9 billion.
With an aim to achieve the United Nations’ SDG goal 2, which seeks to end hunger by 2030, the organisation is hosting the GODAN Summit 2016 in New York between 15-16th September, with participation from world leaders, prominent international figures, researchers, farmers, students and public, private and non-profit organisations. The event will bring together more than 330 partners to build high-level policy and institutional support for open data.
The Summit features include high-level speeches, exhibits showcasing the importance of open-data and the unveiling of the results from an online open-data revolution. The petition will be handed over at the UN General Assembly meeting in NY in September and results unveiled at the summit.
It also includes the GODAN Open Data Maker’s Hackathon – a radical 32 hour hackathon with young, next generation innovators creating the beginning of the end of world hunger. It will uncover new, innovative ways to unleash the power of open data and solve specific challenges in agriculture and nutrition, to enable policy makers, farmers and the open data community to make significant steps forward in the release, management and use of open data.