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Geospatial data for more targeted agricultural interventions: FAO receives excellence award

By FAO | Updated: 2022-05-18

Hand in Hand Geospatial Platform launched by FAO in 2020 wins recognition at Geospatial World Forum 2022 in Amsterdam


HIH Geospatial Platform wins recognition at Geospatial World Forum 2022 in Amsterdam ©Karl Morteo

Amsterdam/Rome - The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today received an award of excellence for a digital tool that helps to analyze and compare data on food and agriculture so that interventions can be more targeted to reduce poverty, hunger and increase economic development.

FAO's open-access Hand in Hand (HIH) Geospatial Platform, which provides advanced  information, including food security indicators and agricultural statistics, was recognized as the best collaborative platform towards data-driven agriculture at the Geospatial World Forum (GWF) 2022 in Amsterdam.

The platform, a digital public good, combines geographic information and statistical data on more than ten domains including food security, crops, soil, water, climate, fisheries, livestock, and forests, helping to identify gaps to work on and opportunities to exploit. The HIH Geospatial Platform is built on data from FAO and other major public data providers from the United Nations, non-governmental organizations, academia, the private sector, and space agencies. All the data from the FAOSTAT statistics platform on food and agriculture for FAO's 194 member countries plus 51 territories, from 1961 to the most recent year, is also incorporated.

"Geospatial technologies and agricultural data represent an opportunity to find new ways of reducing hunger and poverty through more accessible and integrated data-driven solutions", said Dejan Jakovljevic, head of FAO's Digitalization and Informatics Division, accepting the award.

"Digitalization and use of data in agriculture have an essential role to play to support evidence-based policy, planning and implementation to improve efficiency, reduce negative environmental impacts and transformational effect on rural communities, leaving no one behind” added Jakovljevic in his keynote presentation at the GWF 2022.

The HIH Geospatial Platform is the main technical tool of FAO's Hand in Hand initiative. Launched in 2019, Hand-in-Hand targets the most vulnerable, low-income, and low-capacity nations by providing data and tools to identify where investments could have the greatest impact and thus unlock the potential for agricultural development in these countries.

About the GWF 2022

The Geospatial World Excellence Award 2022 was presented at the Geospatial World Forum 2022 held at the Taets Art & Event Park in Amsterdam. The theme of this year's forum was "Geography and Humanity". During the three day- event, a series of meetings and debates were held with the intent of tracing the historical relevance of the geospatial profession, highlighting its current value, and the future direction in ways that benefit society's progress.

FAO's award for the Geospatial Platform was part of the "Digital Agriculture" session. In his acceptance speech, Jakovljevic representing the Organization, emphasized FAO's strong commitment to digital transformation as well as the importance of partnerships, adding that the HIH Geospatial Platform will help improve the lives of farmers around the world and create efficient, inclusive, and resilient agrifood systems.