GODAN/AODIRF Digital Forum 2020

The virtual GODAN/AODIRF Digital Forum 2020 is one of a series of three panel meetings on the subject of open data. The event brought together a group of high-level experts and representatives from public and private sector (governments, universities, International Organisations such as the World Bank, and private sector representatives) to discuss the topic of sustainable investment in digital infrastructure in agriculture.

During a series of  presentations and discussions, panelists explored how open data and related technologies can impact and optimise food supply chains, harnessing data to help prevent issues related to farming and the agriculture sector, such as the spread of aflatoxins and reconciling supply and demand.



The agriculture and food sector is facing numerous challenges. With an estimated 821 million people suffering from hunger, and the global population projected to grow to over 9.6 billion by 2050, there will be a significant increase in the demand for food over the coming years. At the same time, the availability of natural resources is becoming increasingly limited.

Digital innovation and improved infrastructure may be part of the solution. Digital technologies are creating new opportunities for smallholder farmers, with the uptake of mobile technologies, remote-sensing services and distributed computing already improving smallholders’ access to data, markets, training and finance. 

Relatively weak technological infrastructure, high costs of technology, and low levels of digital skill in emerging economies has resulted in both challenges and opportunities. While they may appear to have have been left behind in the digitisation process; targeted investment in appropriate infrastructure in rural communities would allow them to bypass older technologies and join the digital agriculture revolution.

The Forum panel explored how data can be used, and digital systems optimised, to not only function sustainably, but also improve the health of populations. They also spoke of the need to convene and empower farmers, organisations, suppliers, retailers and consumer groups to understand the importance of data and catalyze collective action towards equitable, just, and regenerative food systems.


Dr Pamesh Shah - Global Lead for Rural Livelihoods, World Bank
Prof. Laurette Dube - McGill University
Andre Laperriere - Executive Director, GODAN
Dr. Ralph Manyara - Head of Breeding Automation and Pipeline Connections, BAYER
Lucy Akua Kyeredde Quainoo - Agribusiness Value Chain Federation, Ghana
Steven Adler - IBM Cheif Data Scientist, CEO Ocean Data Alliance
Abdullahi Ndarubu - COO, Harvet Fields Ltd.
Dr. Ranjit Bandyopadhyay - IITA
Dr. Shawn Brown - CEO, Pittburgh Supercomputing Center
Martins Awofisayo - MD, Harvest Fields Industries Ltd.
Konlambigue Matieyedou - MD, Aflasafe Technoloy Transfer Programms

Akinremi Peter Taiwo - CEO, Africa Rapporteur Network
Wisdom Donkor - President/CEO AODIRF
Kwaku Antwi - Director of Business Development, AODIRF
Suzy Salama - Administative Officer, GODAN