International Agriculture News

New partnership to advance open data in Rwanda’s agriculture sector

The Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), a UK and US government supported initiative that promotes proactive sharing of open data, has announced its commitment to work in Rwanda.

The initiative works with different partners to make information about agriculture and nutrition available, accessible and usable to deal with the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security.

This week, GODAN’s Executive Director, André Laperrière, met in Kigali with Gerardine Mukeshimana, the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, and Jean de Dieu Rurangirwa, the Minister of Information, Technology and Communications, in bid to strengthen collaboration in advancing open data policy, especially in the fields of agriculture and nutrition.

According to a statement, the two ministries will designate a focal point that will represent the country in the pan-African Nairobi initiative discussions and act as the main link with GODAN in this context, as well as in the context of Rwanda’s open data priorities, particularly in the areas of precision agriculture, geo-data and open data platforms.

“GODAN seeks to support global efforts to make agricultural and nutritionally relevant data available, accessible, and usable for unrestricted use worldwide, by building high-level policy and public and private institutional support for open data,” reads part of the statement.

GODAN believes in the idea that open and accessible data will empower farmers and food companies from across the world to use the relevant and smart data to better plan and execute their production in a smart way to address and tackle world hunger.

“As an agrarian society, Rwanda’s economy has been powered by its farmers and their agricultural output, contributing immensely to its national GDP. We are therefore quite optimistic to revolutionise the farming practices in the country through open-data,” Laperrière said.

This, he added, will be done by making vital information and smart data metrics available and accessible to the country’s farmers and food producers.

The GODAN initiative aims at establishing and strengthening partnerships with a number of high profile organisations in Africa to further develop relations with governments, NGOs and African development partners to immortalise the agricultural development projects and programmes in Africa.

Already, over 800 partners from around the world, including national governments, non-governmental, international and private sector organisations have pledged support to the GODAN initiative.