From Caucasoid to Negroid, Mongoloid to Australoid, the 7.8billion United Nation global population estimate has one thing in common; regardless of the dietary type, food remains the most basic need for human survival. Rationally, it’s expected that people have access to 3 meals a day, 7days a week, 4 weeks a month and 12 months a year. By implication, the food need of an individual according to dietary metric is approximately 1,008 times in a year. A multiplier effect of 1,008 in the tunes of the 7.8billion food consumers is a huge task for the spatial stratum of food producers.

The impending global hunger and threat to food security, warrant the urgency to address the whole processes of food transformation from pre-production phase to consumption. Food Aid Foundation posited that one in nine people on earth does not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. Now, bringing it home, Sub-Saharan Africa has been tipped to have the highest prevalence of hunger, a further analysis showing about 45 percent mortality in children under five. Hence, a wake-up call to build resilience in agriculture to meet the rising demand of the teaming population, secure our future and ensure perpetuity.

More so, the declining ratio of food producers to food consumers in the rapidly urbanizing world is alarming. And it is no news this urbanization is explicated by a rapidly growing network and aggregation of labour force in industrial and service sector whilst endangering the supply streak of food producers. More often than enough, these unsung heroes have been relegated to the back end of major happenings in the cities, forgetting that the golden course meal on the rich man’s table is the product of the toil of the hand that gets dirty.

Reflecting on the enormous challenges faced by farmers in Nigeria, food production has been plagued with myriad challenges spanning through the informative decision stage to post harvest predicaments. Similarly, the marketing chain is faced with daunting challenge of recurring gluts cemented with price volatility. Farmers groin in regrettable trauma of figuring out a worthy compensation for their earnest toil whilst seeking a better strategy or safe practices. How will it be, if they could be liberated on the cloaks of data-driven information system, appropriate for decision making. It is therefore expedient to preserve the passion of these savior of masses and elites; that are locked out of the big share in the metropolis, by advocating for sustainable development engendered in real data that reflect their needs.

As far as this sector is concerned, decision making has to be result driven and socially inclusive. In this regard, technology could be gainfully employed in building a robust agricultural database. This will in no wise build a support system for policy frameworks, helping farmers, governments and both indigenous and international donors make informed decisions.

Towards a food sufficient economy, the Community of World Food Security (CFS), has identified the importance of agricultural data and analysis as a key pivot in its thematic workstreams in making a difference in Food Security and Nutrition. CFS’s multi-year programme of work for 2020 to 2023 reflected data collection and analysis as a critical player in global policy guidance for policy convergence and coherence to achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote the progressive realization of the right to adequate food.

From the foregoing, in pursuit of the global goal on zero hunger, the impetus to drive agricultural production to sufficiently cater for the global food demand is a major concern. And the pathway to achieving this is in a holistic approach to making effective production decision, strategizing on the drawing board with an underlying insight from what data reveals. To achieve this, it is essential that efficient agricultural database is put in place, where quality data is at a click away to prospective users. Through this, many producers can be reached by a well-coordinated pluralistic set of providers in a manner that is financially sustainable and meets development objectives.


Odunola Oladeji.

For Fooddata Nigeria.

Budgets and Impacts – Nigeria’s ‘Guess work’ failing approach and why data matters.

Budgets and Impacts – Nigeria’s ‘Guess work’ failing approach and why data matters.

The issue of poor transparency and accountability is unarguably an age long tradition in Nigeria and the gross disregard for data, which could keep this in check is evident. Data is an important key to prescience, without it, we live by chance and amidst uncertainties, and this is not sustainable.

Our population as a people has remained a guess work after the last controversial failed national population census of 2006. Sadly, we keep building budgets and policies around this fraud annually. It is no surprise that we are not progressing as a nation.

This challenge is an attribute of  all sector in Nigeria including agriculture. Without data, it becomes impossible to make evidence-based decisions and this has accounted for several policy failures and while budgets are not addressing the societal needs. We only continue to live by chance without solid data to plan our budgets and policies and this is only a matter of time before we are consumed by serious food insecurity consequences which are already threatening us.

Several billions of naira were budgeted for agriculture and farmers allegedly empowered. The results had remained obvious failure, more impoverished farmers, failing policies, increasing food costs, declining export revenue among others. More money is being diverted than reached the farmers but there are no ways the public could track this or hold public office holders accountable.

An instance is a report published by Premium Times on December 31st, 2019 – “Nigeria’s agriculture agency failed to account for 350 million naira – Audit report.”  This and many more fraud are being perpetrated while farmers are getting the interventions on papers and our productivity increasing on propaganda.

These atrocities will continue until we set up systems  to keep track of these funds from top to bottom and make use of data to measure performance.

While it is common knowledge that public officials are not data tolerant, we must continue as individual to make available these data and give platforms for the public to ask questions on how their allocated funds are being utilized, with measurable metrics.

The 2003 Maputo Accord which Nigeria signed with other African countries demanded that allocations to agriculture should be about 10% of total national budget, but so far, only the Yar’adua administration in 2009 reached half of that figure. The charts attached showed that neither states nor national agricultural gets the priority a country with geometric growing population needed.

The evil doer does less evil than the innocent citizen who watched him do evil without concerns. Be concerned, ask questions, take responsibility.

Follow us on twitter @FooddataN for updates on states and the nation agricultural funding, budgeting and impacts measurement.

Planting calendar and constant shift, climate change impact on Agriculture and why we should care.


The reality of climate change has constantly disrupt this calendar in the past couple of years. We are committed to following how these events are changing and informing farmers on how to avoid the disasters that follow the sharp disruptions. This date reflects data for the last 2 years and the changes compared to the last 5 years have been so significant.

It is very important that we pay attention to these details and improve the reliability of the Agricultural weather data (predictions still quite inaccurate and not well circulated). We can give farmers all the inputs, subsidies and loans, none of these will protect them from the challenges climate change is imposing on them, especially when more than 70% of our domestic food production are still rainfed and bearing that irrigation is quite expensive for majority of smallholder farmers to manage. This is why our organization is  also pushing for strengthening farmer’s cooperatives as a way to allow them to access certain technology and equipment with team force.

Attached here is a collection of planting and harvesting calendar in Nigeria. Please be informed that this is not absolute and corrections and suggestions would be appreciated.

Note: You can download (FOODDATA -SELECTED CROPS PLANTING CALENDER) and use, but be kind enough to reference the source. Not all free things are cheap.

Adekunle E. Ayandele

For Fooddata NG.


Does data mean power for smallholder farmers?

Does data mean power for smallholder farmers?

Does data mean power for smallholder farmers?

       SEPTEMBER 16, 2019.
Credit: Africa Studio/

Data is power—whoever controls data has the power and means to create services and products, allowing them to benefit from business insights and providing them distinct market advantages. Tools that collect, store and share data along the agricultural value chain—known as digital agriculture—can contribute to exponential income growth, better decision making and better services and products, as well as greater efficiency, productivity and profitability. But many farmers, particularly smallholder farmers, do not benefit from this sharing and exchange of agricultural data, leaving them feeling disempowered. Farmers are often reluctant to share their data because they feel it might be unsafe due to privacy and security issues, or because they are unaware of the value it could offer them.

While laws and regulations that govern personal data (such as The European General Data Protection Regulation or GPDR) are becoming increasingly common, there is a dearth of legislation covering the collection, sharing and use of data in agriculture. As a result, farmers face challenges due to a lack of transparency on issues such as data ownership, data rights, data privacy, data security and definitional issues such as whether all (or some) farm data should be considered personal.  Moreover, the contracts and licensing agreements that currently govern data transactions are complex, leaving smallholder farmers with very little negotiating power.


The good news is that codes of conduct have emerged to fill the legislative void, setting common standards for data sharing contracts and providing fair and transparent governance structures for agricultural data. Today, there are three main agriculture data codes: the US American Farm Bureau Federations’ Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data, the New Zealand Farm Data Code and the EU Code of Conduct on Agricultural Data Sharing by Contractual Agreement.

These codes cover central issues such as terminology, data ownership, data rights (including right to access, data portability, and the right to erasure/right to be forgotten), privacy issues, security, consent, disclosure and transparency. In addition, they all attempt to harness the benefits of agricultural data while protecting producers’ privacy and security. While they are not legally binding and rely on self-regulation, these codes are building awareness around the importance of transparency in agricultural data flows, changing the way agribusiness views data and making data producers (primarily farmers) more aware of their rights.

Although these farm data codes are a promising first step, more needs to be done to ensure that farmers benefit from data sharing. One key issue is that the existing codes do not have farmers or Farmers’ Organizations (let alone smallholder farmers) as their primary target audience, but rather the agribusinesses and ag tech companies that work with farmers and use their data. The codes are thus an instrument for these companies to ensure data sharing by gaining the trust of farmers through transparent documentation of good practices. Moving forward, a customizable code of conduct that provides basic and general guidelines based on farmers’ needs and interests will be critical.

Including farmers in the code of conduct decision process offers several benefits. For one, it will help farmers become more aware of the value of data sharing. Agribusinesses will gain farmers’ trust, as farmers can be sure of their benefits, knowing they have been equally engaged in the development of these guidelines and principles. Farmers’ associations could play a key role by representing farmers and negotiating the code based on their interests. From the farmers’ perspective, the main elements that should be included within the codes of conduct concern:

  • Data ownership
  • Terms and definitions
  • Farmer’s rights
  • Farmers’ advance notification of data collection through a clear briefing
  • Farmer’s informed consent of data collection and use, and access control
  • Clear and understandable contract
  • Contract termination
  • Disclosure, use and sale limitation
  • Liability and protection of intellectual property rights
  • Enforcement certification schemes and their effective implementation by an independent and participatory administrating entity
Agricultural codes of conduct

In this context, it is worth mentioning the recent EU Regulation on the free flow of non-personal data, and its relevance for digital agriculture. Just one year after launching the General Data Protection Regulation, the EU launched a new regulation about the control of non-personal data, which defines data on precision farming as non-personal data. This highlights the need for more analysis to achieve a clearer distinction on personal versus non-personal farm data, which would help alleviate privacy concerns going forward. Appropriately, the new regulation emphasizes the importance of self-regulation within the data economy: it encourages the development of industry-specific codes of conduct, allowing for transparent, structured and seamless sharing of data between service providers.

One advantage of industry-led self-regulation in the field of agriculture is that it ensures the involvement of experts and facilitates sustained relationships between farmers and agribusiness. By developing digital agriculture codes of conduct with inclusive participation, power imbalances and data asymmetries can be more effectively handled. Specifically, the co-creation of these codes by farmer’s associations can ensure that farmers’ perspectives become central. Additionally, farmers’ associations could play a role in making adherence to codes mandatory, for example by requiring accreditation for any agribusiness dealing with their farmers.

Ultimately, our hope is that these codes of conduct will usher in a more ethical and responsible approach to data use and management in the agricultural sector—one that is focused on farmers’ perspective and concerns, and enhances trust and transparency in an increasingly digitized world.

Note: This post is not FOODDATA NG article, but the exclusive right to re-post was obtained from the author.