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Big Data for Big Problems - Climate Change, Water Availability, and Food Safety

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Atlantis Press


Agriculture and the food supply chain face big problems related to climate change, water availability and food safety that challenge the ability to provide safe and affordable food security for the burgeoning world population. Applying data analytics to improve agricultural productivity involves a number of challenges in collecting, processing, and packaging data and findings in ways to provide practical tool for use by farmers and the food supply chain. To meet the growing demand for agricultural products despite the impacts of climate change and the limited availability of additional agricultural lands, it will be necessary to adopt climate-smart agriculture. Developments in improving the capability of the agricultural sector to withstand the productivity and economic impacts of drought are becoming more critical and require capacity to monitor regional and national soil moisture content. A global drought monitoring framework is being developed by scientists to integrate continental and regional drought monitoring. Another critical element of food security is food safety throughout the food processing and distribution supply chain. Risk assessment and cost/benefit analysis can be used to evaluate pathogen interventions in the food supply chain, then used to set priorities and targets for specific foodborne illnesses. However, concerns about data ownership and control, especially affecting potential privacy issues, will likely need attention throughout the food supply chain. The informatics community is in a prime position to develop robust and productive approaches to helping assure that society improves worldwide food security by insightful application of big data.


Armbruster, Walter; MacDonell, Margaret (2015): Big Data for Big Problems - Climate Change, Water Availability, and Food Safety. EnviroInfo & ICT4S, Conference Proceedings. DOI: 10.2991/ict4s-env-15.2015.22. Amsterdam - Beijing - Paris: Atlantis Press. ConverStation II. Copenhagen. 2015