Dr André Laperrière

The Digital Revolution in Agriculture

7-8 August 2017, Canberra

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Dr André Laperrière

Mr. André Laperrière joined the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) initiative as its first Executive Director, in September 2015. Before joining GODAN, Mr. Laperrière was Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Washington DC. During his career, Mr. Laperrière has led/managed numerous projects on behalf of large Private Corporations and subsequently, within the United Nations and the World Bank. In this context, he played a senior role in the design and the implementation of major reforms within a number of agencies such as the International Criminal Court (ICC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. He has extensive work experience in the Americas, Caribbean, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, in particular in developing countries and in conflict/post conflict environments.

Dr Andre Laperriere Paper Crawford Fund Conference 2017

Dr Andre Laperriere Presentation



For many years ‘big data’ has been considered by many as the privilege of the few.  Because of its volume, it could only be handled by large corporations, essentially based in the west; because of its complexity, it required high level specialists to manage it, and because of the cost of putting it together, it rested out of reach of the common person’s purse.  This has changed.

During this lifetime, the world has gone trough three consecutive and very fundamental revolutions: The first was the internet, connecting the world together.  The second was the emergence of intelligent devices, starting with the mobile phones, bringing knowledge to your fingertips.  The third revolution is here: Open data.  Knowledge can now flow across the world with accuracy, speed and volume never reached before.

The world of agriculture is one of the key beneficiaries of this latest revolution, seeing for the first time the innovative benefits of a true ‘collective development process’ taking place, Governments opening their data, research working hand in hand with private sector, and civil society – consumers and farmers alike – voicing their needs and triggering innovation tailored to their capacity, situation and choices.  As a result, in the most remote areas you can see today applications using the latest technology – and big data – in the hands of the farmers and in a form and shape that makes sense for them, is affordable, manageable and allows them to gradually overcome subsistence farming to reach a higher quality of life.

Globally this means that continents where agriculture is still the key development engine, see their economy improving, hunger decrease and innovation flourish.

This is what will lead the world to overcome emerging food security challenges ahead of us, and beyond, contribute greatly to allow developing countries to reach their full potential.

In this presentation we will describe this process and give concrete examples of where/how big data is now used by the small farmers and more generally how open data is changing the face of global agriculture.