An unprecedented drive to collect data from millions of smallholder farmers in 50 developing countries was launched on Monday.
The “50 x 2030” programme seeks to boost agricultural productivity and livelihoods across Africa, Asia and Latin America by 2030 – and provide more accurate data to inform policy-makers.
The initiative, announced at the Data to End Hunger event at the UN General Assembly, comes in the wake of figures which show that global hunger has risen for the third consecutive year, with 821 million people undernourished in 2017.
“Data is foundational for so many of the things we want to achieve, and yet because it’s this hidden, not very glamorous, infrastructure it’s hard to get people to care about it,” Claire Melamed, chief executive of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, told The Telegraph.
“Our aim is to invest in basic data over a long period, which can give governments the information that they need to really make progress on agricultural productivity. This is not a one-off, big bang collection of data, it’s about creating a better system.”