Bill Gates joins administration in promoting open agricultural data

(Reuters) (Reuters)

Bill Gates on Monday joined top administration officials in promoting open access to agricultural data as a way to increase global nutrition and food security.

The Microsoft co-founder and chairman helped launch a two-day conference with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park to introduce and grow a new online database that allows farmers, ranchers, scientists and policymakers to freely access publicly funded information.

Through this resource, the federal government provides free access to agricultural information from more than 300 data sets, as well as maps and applications.

With the global population projected to reach more than 9 billion by 2050, open-data advocates say the initiative will help combat food insecurity and help provide a framework for sustainable agricultural systems.

“The digital revolution fueled by open data is starting to do for the modern world of agriculture what the industrial revolution did for agricultural productivity over the past century,” Vilsack said in a statement.

The conference this week comes as part of a food security and nutrition initiative President Obama agreed to during the 2012 G-8 Leaders Summit at Camp David.

For more federal news, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics.

To connect with Josh Hicks, follow his Twitter feed, subscribe to his Facebook page or e-mail

E-mail with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read Politics



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Steve Vogel · April 29, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.