A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Open Data in agriculture: A revolution in the making

November 15, 2013

Launched in 1997 in the United States, the Open Data trend has been gaining ground in France since 2007. Since February 2011, the Etalab mission under the authority of the French Prime Minister drives the movement that involves the availability of public data on the Internet.

Today, about 350,000 data sets representing 2,800 different files are available on line on data.gouv.fr, the governments’ platform. The final stage was reached with the October 9, 2013 creation of the Open Data France Association.

Beyond the media coverage of the trend, will the open data revolution have a positive impact on improving access to agricultural markets for the decision-makers involved in the value chain?

Although there are technical difficulties and misgivings by some to see this data “lost in the middle of nowhere”, the proponents of the Open Data revolution feel it creates new opportunities in building trust, driving innovation, stimulating the economy and strengthening social cohesion. It also facilitates new forms of dialogue, cooperation and regulation.

In the sectors of agriculture and agribusiness, the requests for access to public data by a wide range of stakeholders are many, and have been so for a long time now. Openness, transparency and innovation represent the three-fold foundation upon which rests the French access to the public data platform. Consequently, it could become a genuine gold mine for all farmers seeking information on local farming––weather forecast or soil conditions for instance––or immediate and comprehensive market facts, so that they can better respond to price volatility.

Even if Open Data in agriculture is a work in progress in France, compared to the United States or Great Britain, many initiatives are underway, such as the symposium on the status and perspectives of the trend that was held in Paris on November 12, 2013.

At the international level, open data is also coming into sharper focus by international organizations. This past April, an open data in agriculture summit took place in the framework of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) founded by the World Bank. The FAO website is also constantly being upgraded to provide better access to agricultural data, as is the case for the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) that was implemented by the Action Plan on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture approved in June 2011 by the G20 in Paris.

As with all indicators, the accessibility of these transparent evaluation and information tools––supervised by pertinent structures and based on global governance––is indeed a crucial change for a sector as strategic as are agriculture and global food security. This is all the more valid since the growing financialization of agriculture and its distorting practices observed in this past decade have played an important role in making agricultural markets more opaque.

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Paris, 19 June 2019