CTA in collaboration with IFPRI, the ACP Secretariat, the European Commission, PAFO shall host a panel and launch the Sub-Saharan Africa Food Security Portal, on 16 September 2015, 9h30-13h00, at the ACP Secretariat, 451 Avenue Georges Henri, 1200 Brussels, Room C.

***To attend the event, please make sure you register online.***

*** Follow live tweeting @ctabrussels and via webstream ***

Data: key tool for agricultural transformation

Data has become a key asset for agricultural transformation in Africa. The availability of timely, relevant, and reliable data on the agriculture sector is necessary for effective planning, monitoring, and evaluation of agricultural and rural development policies and to increase the impact of field interventions. Whereas in the past, a relatively small volume of analog data was produced and made available through a limited number of channels, today massive amount of data is regularly generated from various sources, through different channels.

The phenomenon of ‘’big data’’ – where information comes from different sources ranging from connected devices to sensors and GPS – offers enormous potential to develop innovative products and services. Turning big data—call logs, mobile-banking transactions, online user-generated content, online searches, satellite images, etc.—into actionable information opens exciting opportunities. The growing role of ‘crowdsourcing’ and other “participatory sensing” efforts bringing together communities of practice through the use of mobile phones and other platforms including Internet, hand-held radio, and geospatial technologies present promising opportunities.

Generating value at the different stages of the data value chain is at the centre of the knowledge economy. Improved and inclusive data setting, use and sharing will enhance evidence-based decision-making and improve the policies. To fully exploit the potential of open data, new partnerships are needed between policy-makers, researchers, farmers and the private sector.

Building resilience for food and nutrition security through better data

The Food Security Portal, facilitated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), aims to provide improved food security for the world’s poor and increased resilience of global food systems against food and financial crises. It brings together international, regional, and country-level data, news, and research aimed at meeting countries’ immediate food security needs, as well as building long-term global food security.


Background Note & Programme

New! on the topic of Data and agriculture

CTA’s Brussels Briefing n. 40 on Data: the next revolution for agriculture in ACP countries?

ICT UpdateData Revolution for Agriculture

Capacity4Dev feature on Agriculture’s Data Revolution





Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant-Secretary General of the ACP Group of States in charge of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade

Context & objectives

Isolina Boto, Manager, CTA Brussels Office [Presentation]


Jean-Pierre Halkin, Head of Unit, Rural Development, Food Security, Nutrition, European Commission/EuropeAid; Michael Hailu, Director of CTA

Perspectives on Data-driven farming in Africa

This panel will bring various perspectives to the debate on data use for improved agricultural transformation in Africa.

Chair: Professor Eric Tollens, Chair, CTA Executive Board


  • How better data use can increase resilience of food systems against crises

Maximo Torero, Division Director of the Markets, Trade & Institutions, IFPRI [Presentation]

  • The benefits of Open data for agriculture

Chris Addison, Senior Coordinator, Knowledge Management, CTA [Presentation]

  • The role of mobile applications in data use for agriculture

Ben Addom, ICT4D Programme Coordinator, CTA [Presentation]

  • How can farmer’s organizations contribute to data-driven farming?

Perspective from PAFO: Theo de Jager, President, PAFO

Perspective from Central Africa: Celestin Nga, Permanent Secretary, PROPAC

Perspective from Southern Africa: Ishmael Sunga, CEO, SACAU

Perspective from West Africa: Djibi Bagna, President, ROPPA

Perspective from UMNAGRI: Abdelmajid Ezzar, President UMNAGRI

Debate Expanding Knowledge, informing policy: Launch of the FS Portal


CTA and IFPRI collaboration

CTA and IFPRI collaborate in several areas relating to improving the management of data for agriculture in Africa: (i) analysis of African Agricultural Trade through the production of a yearly Trade Outlook in partnership with the AUC, UNECA and with the expertise of African researchers from the AGRODEP network; (ii) support to Strategic Analysis Knowledge Support Services (SAKSS) to inform the CAADP process at national level and regional levels (East and West Africa); (iii) support to strengthening data management through the Agriconnexions project with African farmers organizations; (iv) joint food policy briefings in areas such as resilience, nutrition and food price volatility.