“Agriculture doesn’t lack for data – it needs better organisation of data to feed 10 billion”

As we look ahead to 2021, the challenge of overcoming Covid-19 still stands before us. The primary focus is on rolling out vaccines, but as worries about new variants come to the fore, we really do need to act at warp speed to get shots in arms and take additional measures if necessary.   

To look at some of the challenges we face and some of the solutions we have in place, we asked a number of the world’s leading thinkers what their “moonshots” would be, and what grand visions for society we should pursue today.    

Sonia Lo says: "Data is collected in the millions of data points every second around the world, in food and agriculture systems. In lesser developed economies, informational offers abound, to help even the smallest small-hold farmer. However, this is not relevant or helpful in the absence of the attendant ecosystem infrastructure of financing; robust, weather-resistant and inexpensive physical facilities in which to farm; and real-time feedback for the farmers about their critical inputs. The world today is capable of imaging and analyzing every edible plant on the planet and yet there isn’t an international data infrastructure to be able to do that." 

"At Sensei Ag, we believe that indoor agriculture can transform the way we capture data about edible plants, help transform land and water usage at least tenfold through better use of that data, and be part of the critical new infrastructure of post-pandemic economies. Organizing data across countries and providing unified data sets across climates and crops not only helps individual farmers but also enables a new generation of “agricultural fintech” which helps those farmers with much needed, but now, well-informed capital. Our vision is to enable the building of a multitude of indoor farm types – to stabilize food supply around the world but also to build the next-generation data sets for all farmers." 

Source: Tony Blair Institute for Global Change 

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