Using Big Data To Prevent World Hunger

Using Big Data To Prevent World Hunger

Using Big Data To Prevent World Hunger

big-data-hunger

Hunger and famine are two of the leading indicators of serious poverty. In October 2013 the Global Hunger Index released its latest report, indicating nineteen countries suffer from levels of hunger that are either ‘alarming’ or ‘extremely alarming’, with one in eight people suffering from chronic undernourishment between 2010 and 2012.

(Image Source:  meunierd / Shutterstock.com)

Helping Farming

Although farmers today produce three times as much food as they did fifty years ago, farmers still have to significantly improve their productivity to help feed a world population of 9 billion in 2050. Leaders of the G8 believe an important step towards solving the problem is to allow farmers, scientists, and entrepreneurs unrestricted access to agricultural big data.

Big data analysis can increase crop yields by helping farmers make better decisions about when to plant, manage and harvest their crops. Beyond broad data sets on topics such as rainfall levels, signs of pests and diseases, and anticipated prices at local markets, there is also the highly specialised and specific data sets such as plant genomics and local weather conditions.

The Climate Corporation operates a cloud-based farming information system that takes weather measurements from 2.5 million locations and combines it with 150 billion soil observations to generate 10 trillion weather simulation data points. This information allows farmers to know information as diverse as when is the best time to spray fields to getting an accurate estimate of the value of fields they may be considering buying.

The end goal is to help improve productivity in Africa, the worst performing agricultural producer. The CGIAR Consortium in France hopes to develop an app which uses all the available data to allow African farmers to identify their local soil type, the planting and harvesting requirements of each specific field, and then direct them to where they can locally purchase the seeds needed.

Predicting Famine

Using big data to aid the battle against hunger isn’t a new idea. The Famine Early Warning System has been in operation for 25 years to help international aid groups predict where famines in remote regions are about to occur and thus target the $1.5 billion of annual food aid from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The system relies on a blend of social and scientific big data from federal agencies as diverse as NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Department of Agriculture to create hydrological models, food-economics forecasts, weather and climate simulations, and food-borne illness predictions. The output from these models is increasingly accurate and allows the world’s political leaders respond quickly and effectively in the early stages of a famine.

The Future

What is the future of big data in farming? Is it naïve to believe that data sets alone can solve the issue of world hunger, or are they the developed world’s best hope of fighting famine? Let us know in the comments below.

By Daniel Price

About Daniel Price

Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech (CloudTweaks.com & MakeUseOf.com), sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.

Find out more
View All Articles

One Response to Using Big Data To Prevent World Hunger

Big Data – Productivity, Innovation And Competitiveness

Big Data – Productivity, Innovation And Competitiveness

Big Data – Productivity, Innovation And Competitiveness Big Data Analytics Big data refers to datasets that are so large, diverse, and fast-changing which need advanced and unique storage, management, analysis, and visualization technologies.  According to McKinsey, Big Data is “the next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity”.  The right use of Big Data can increase productivity,…

Insider Threats and Sensitive Data in the Cloud

Insider Threats and Sensitive Data in the Cloud

The Age of Sensitive Data in the Cloud A recent survey report conducted by the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) revealed that cloud security had reached a tipping point: 64.9% of respondents (which included IT security professionals from enterprises across all industries and regions) believed that the cloud was as secure or more secure than their…

The Concept Of Securing IoT To Secure Your Building

The Concept Of Securing IoT To Secure Your Building

Securing IoT Ah, security. It is the dulcet tone of a symphony that we play over and over in the IT world. IoT (Internet of Things) and the myriad of connected devices allow us some intriguing security options. For example, in a mesh array of sensors, you could effectively force users to correctly identify themselves…

5 Ways The Latest Cloud Tools Can Help Increase Sales

5 Ways The Latest Cloud Tools Can Help Increase Sales

Cloud Tools Can Help Increase Sales How new cloud technology can help you source, manage and close more leads. We take a look at how you can use cloud software to boost your sales team’s productivity and clinch more of those all-important deals! Selling and Marketing is integral to every business and a company’s sales team…

Transforming Traditional DevOps To A Modern Cloud-Centric Operation

Transforming Traditional DevOps To A Modern Cloud-Centric Operation

Transforming Traditional DevOps Over the last year, I’ve been hearing about more and more instances of companies asking the question that the title suggests – how do you transform a DevOPs process into a more cloud-centric operation? To start, we must all assume that there is some notion of a traditional DevOPs process built into…

From Startup To Becoming Enterprise Grade

From Startup To Becoming Enterprise Grade

Becoming Enterprise Grade How can an emerging business make a successful transition from selling to SMB customers that fueled their early growth to the enterprise customers that enable long-term profitability? What works with SMB customers often won’t get you a seat at the enterprise table. To make deep inroads into enterprise accounts, you have to…

Are You SURE You Are Ready For The Cloud?: Security of Business

Are You SURE You Are Ready For The Cloud?: Security of Business

Cloud Business Security Last month I went into the financial side of moving to the cloud. This month I am going to focus on the other main reason I have seen customers migrate to the cloud: Security of business. When I say security, I do not mean username and passwords, but a stability of the environment…

CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, infosec, big data and the internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Sponsor