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Moving towards enhanced agricultural open data in the Caribbean

February 24, 2015
  • Caribbean

An inquiry into open data in the Caribbean has found that the agriculture sector could benefit significantly if information was more freely available and widely shared. The CTA report, Agricultural Open Data in the Caribbean, is part of an investigation by the Centre into how open data can contribute to agricultural knowledge acquisition, effective ICT4Ag apps development, policy and value chain development in ACP countries.

OpenData Carib front coverAdding value to agriculture through open data

Based on the results of an online survey and interviews, the report examines the perceptions of Caribbean institutions and stakeholders on agricultural open data, and explores how CTA and key partners could promote greater adoption of open data policies and practices. 

The report reveals broad consensus on the importance of data and information and the value addition that open data could provide. A 2014 study in Jamaica estimated that open data would enable a 10 percent rise in value addition from productivity gains in agriculture, increasing the country’s GDP by some US$92 million (€81 million).

Understanding the challenges associated to open data

But low levels of awareness of open data resources are hampering potential. Lack of connection between stakeholder institutions is leading to duplication in areas such as climate change, managing farm assets and market information systems. Other problems concern data itself, including frequency of updates, formats and accuracy.

Connecting and empowering agricultural communities across the ACP

CTA is well placed to raise awareness of open data within the region, connect regional players with global practices and strengthen community participation through various initiatives. The report makes a series of recommendations regarding advocacy, communication, community engagement, technical assistance and shared data standards or platforms.

Written by SlashRoots Foundation, the report has been produced in the framework of the AgriHack Talent Programme with the collaboration of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Caribbean Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI).

Download your copy of Agricultural Open Data in the Caribbean.