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USAID, USDA Officials To Participate in G8 Ag Conference

G8 conference will focus on international agricultural data collaboration

Published on: Apr 23, 2013

Several U.S. Agency for International Development officials, along with USDA officials, will participate in the G-8 International Conference on Open Data for Agriculture April 29-30 in Washington, D.C.

The conference will host agricultural leaders from around the world and will demonstrate the role of open data in increasing agricultural production, improving private sector growth, and ensuring global food security.

USAID Bureau for Food Security Assistant to the Administrator Paul Weisenfeld will join the official U.S. delegation, which is led by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. USAID Bureau for Food Security Chief Scientist Dr. Julie Howard and USAID Senior Data Coordinator Nathaniel Manning will also join the conference as representatives of USAID.

G8 conference will focus on sharing agricultural research, data
G8 conference will focus on sharing agricultural research, data

The conference will bring together innovators, food security experts, data scientists, and policy makers from around the world to discuss the importance of open agricultural data to increased food security.  The U.S. and private sector partners will announce newly opened and accessible data sets. Innovators will present solutions that demonstrate the potential impact of sharing data.

"I am pleased to partner with G-8 colleagues in ensuring that agriculturally relevant data is readily available to users around the world. By making our data accessible and encouraging others to do the same, we will enable collaborations that will spur innovation and increase economic growth around the world," Vilsack said in March.

G-8 and African countries will devise action plans to open additional food security data and invest in projects that increase publicly and privately funded global agriculturally relevant data. This data will be accessible to the global public, including users in Africa, and will support a sustainable increase in food security in developed and developing countries.

Dr. Howard will be moderating a panel entitled: "Agricultural Open Data: Implications for Developing Countries."

The panel is expected to include representatives from Japan, Uganda, Mozambique, and the United States and will highlight how governments in developed countries make agriculture data open for others and accessible to farmers and the potential of open data as a significant resource and the implications to support increase in farmers' productivity.

The conference follows a commitment made at the 2012 Summit around the launch of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, an effort by the G-8, partner governments, and the private sector to help lift 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa out of poverty by 2022 through inclusive agricultural growth.

The U.S. delegation will also include Dr. Catherine Woteki, Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics and Chief Scientist, USDA; Paul Weisenfeld, Assistant to the Administrator, Bureau for Food Security, U.S. Agency for International Development; Jonathan Shrier, Special Representative for Global Food Security, State Department; and representatives from the National Science Foundation, Millennium Challenge Corporation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

For more information on the upcoming conference, visit the conference website.