Data and information on land are fundamental for enabling smallholder farmers to gain secure access and control over their land, which provides the basis for investing in their operations.
This briefing paper outlines the importance and benefits of increasing the availability and accessibility of land information in support of improved food security and nutrition.
Over a billion people worldwide, predominately smallholder farmers, lack secure land rights, which are crucial for obtaining loans and providing the long-term visibility necessary for planning successful agricultural operations. Development agencies, governments and agricultural stakeholders alike are increasingly recognizing the need for land data in support of secure property rights as a mechanism for ensuring sustainable economic development.
Making land data available as open data provides numerous public and societal benefits. Open data surrounding land transactions increases accountability and transparency, while reducing corruption. Open data technologies enable mapping and access to information on land rights, which in turn can lead to more protection for community and smallholder farmers.
This briefing paper is published as a thematic scoping for GODAN Action, which enables data users, producers and intermediaries to effectively engage with open data and maximize its potential for impact in the agriculture and nutrition sectors. GODAN Action targets those using and publishing data to improve agriculture and nutrition policy and practice, and aims to help these stakeholders to not only understand the value of open data for agriculture and nutrition but also to provide the tools and skills needed to help them engage with it practically.
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The vision of the Land Portal Foundation is to improve land governance to benefit those with the most insecure land rights and the greatest vulnerability to landlessness through information and knowledge sharing.
GODAN supports the proactive sharing of open data to make information about agriculture and nutrition available, accessible and usable to deal with the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security. It is a rapidly growing group, currently with over 317 partners from national governments, non-governmental, international and private sector organisations that have committed to a joint Statement of Purpose.