At the end of September Toby Mottram spoke at the Global Open Data for Agriculture & Nutrition (GODAN) Linked Open Data in Agriculture workshop in Berlin. Toby detailed how our sister company VirtualVet uses information technology to record and track animal health data, and the importance of this data to food security. Following this workshop eCow are very excited to announce that we are now a partner in the GODAN network. The GODAN network is an international initiative formed in 2012 which promotes the open access of data, facilitating the solving of food security issues. Network partners range from governments to non-governmental organisations, businesses, and researchers.

“We will not end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030 unless we address all the factors that undermine food security and nutrition.”

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017

Food security is the drive to ensure the whole global population has access to sufficient and safe food, and is particularly important during the dramatic global changes we are currently seeing. Some of the key factors that influence food security include: increasing global population, political and economic instability, urbanisation and changing diets, and climate change. However, as identified in a recent UN report a huge variety of other factors can contribute to food security problems. This report highlighted the diverging problem of food security where over 1 billion people are obese, but with the number who are undernourished increasing towards 1 billion. In addition to this food safety is becoming an increasing concern as well as the influence of conflict on food availability.


To solve the substantial and evolving problems of food security smart and multi-disciplinary solutions, such as the GODAN network, are needed. Data has been identified as a vital tool when tackling food security problems, particularly for improving the sustainability of food production and agriculture, and so promoting the open access of data can encourage collaboration in this area. This will be key to solving the wealth problems associated with food security on a range of scales from local to global.

As we are passionate about both food security and data, becoming part of the GODAN network was a natural progression for us. This opportunity will allow us to give our customers the context surrounding their data to facilitate more informed management decisions, whilst also allowing us to contribute to use of data to solve food security issues.

For more information about the GODAN network please see their website. The full UN report on the State of Food Security and Nutrition Around the World in 2017 can be read here or an excellent summary is available here.