Food & Analytics
By Leon Loughran
21st October 2016

Food! Chances are if you’re reading this blog, you’ll have eaten food at one point or another in your life, but have you ever stopped to think about the future of our food, and how analytics can help?

KDR has specialised in Analytics for 14 years, it’s always interesting when it comes to the monthly blog to research how Big Data is supporting humanity and this time Food was forefront of my research!

Right now there are at least 7.5billion people on the planet with a growth rate of 1.13% it’s growing exponentially – how are 70 million extra mouths a year going to be fed?

Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research is a bit of a mouthful, puns aside, CGIAR pioneer research on agricultural sustainability, improving food and nutrition security as well as improving natural resources and the ecosystem for an ever-increasing global population.

Food miles in Britain

Source: Cool Geography

CGIAR research recognises no single pathway to poverty reduction will hold across all settings and are using Big Data to diversify opportunities. Using Big Data to invest into high value products such as livestock, fish, vegetables, fruit, local processing as well as increasing access to productive assets such as land and water, worldwide are just two methods that the digital and analytical age are benefiting the very real food crisis we face.

Advances in recent years have significantly opened the scope for data driven agricultural development with the Climate Corporation acquisition by Monsanto in 2013 demonstrating information is valued highly as a product in agricultural services.

Data driven approaches to farming in urban areas are expanding, with vertical farming and robot farming being a regular sight in some of the world’s largest cities. For example in New York the Great Pollinator Project was set up in order to understand bees, with the aim that the data they collect can help them to encourage the bees in urban areas to pollinate more plants.

Opportunities in Big Data aside, there comes risks, such as unequal access to the use of information as well as the ability to utilise data-driven approach relying on resource-rich farmers marrying old school agriculture with modern technology.

No doubt we’re at an exciting cross road in agriculture with massive potential for analytics to champion new and innovative solutions to a food shortage that already exists and is in a non-sustainable situation!

Do you see a future in big data, analytics and the food chain?

This blog was originally published on LinkedIn by Leon. To read the original article click here


"Great blog Leon and superb opening line! Well worth a read if you are interested in our planet's food security" - Mark Dexter

"Thanks Mark! Couldn't see it winning a nobel prize but research was insightful :)" - Leon Loughran (in reply to Mark Dexter)


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