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Big Data Infrastructure Project

The Big Data Infrastructure Project page provides a list of public data links related to food security. We hope this page provides helpful sources of data for your research.

We are adding datasets to the list as we find them. Please let us know of other data sets related to food security by contacting Akito Kamei, at


  1. General
    1. MapSPAM SPAM is the Spatial Production Allocation Model. There are 42 crops modeled for both rainfed and irrigated areas for the years 2000 and 2005.
    2. EARTHSTAT Contains global GIS data for download. Information available includes: cropland and pasture area in 2000; harvested area and yield for 175 crops;and climate variation effects on crop yields for maize, soybean, rice, and wheat.
    3. UN Comtrade International trade data available at annual and monthly time scales for the period 1961 - 2016. Database contains all commodities traded (food and non-food). Subscription is needed for bulk download of data.
    4. USDA CropScape Provides crop data layers for the period 1997-2016 as frequency layers for corn, soybean, cotton, and wheat for the continental US. There are additional layer options for boundaries (county, ASD, state, and region), water (rivers and lakes), and roads( freeway system and major highways).
    5. FAOSTAT FAO’s statistics database for food and agriculture. Contains information for over 175 crops. National level statistics available for production, trade, food balance, food security, prices, inputs, population, investment, agri-environmental indicators, agriculture and land use emissions, forestry, and emergency response.
    6. FAO Bilateral trade data Bilateral trade matrix for agriculture for 1986-2014. Quantities traded and value of goods information is available.
    7. World Food Programme, Food Aid Information System (WFP FAIS) Contains food aid information for 1988 - 2012. Users can build 2- or 3-dimensional reports for quantities delivered. Variables include food aid type, recipient, donor, commodity, and delivery mode.
    8. Global Food Prices Detabase (WFP) The Global Food Prices Database has data on food prices (e.g., beans, rice, fish, and sugar) for 76 countries and some 1,500 markets. The dataset includes around 500,000 records and is updated monthly. The data goes back as far as 1992 for a few countries, although most of the price trends start in 2000-2002.
    9. Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement The Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement (CPS-FSS) is the source of national and State-level statistics on food insecurity used in USDA's annual reports on household food security. The CPS is a monthly labor force survey of about 50,000 households conducted by the Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Once each year, after answering the labor force questions, the same households are asked a series of questions (the Food Security Supplement) about food security, food expenditures, and use of food and nutrition assistance programs. Food security data have been collected by the CPS-FSS each year since 1995.
    10. Survey of Income and Program Participation SIPP is the premier source of information for income and program participation. SIPP collects data and measures change for many topics including: economic well-being, family dynamics, education, assets, health insurance, childcare, and food security.
    11. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. The survey is unique in that it combines interviews and physical examinations.
    12. The Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) The Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) is a household survey program focused on generating high-quality data, improving survey methods, and building capacity. The goal of the LSMS is to facilitate the use of household survey data for evidence-based policymaking. Some countries have questionaire module of food security.
    13. The Panel Study of Income Dynamics - PSID The study began in 1968 with a nationally representative sample of over 18,000 individuals living in 5,000 families in the United States. Information on these individuals and their descendants has been collected continuously, including data covering employment, income, wealth, expenditures, health, marriage, childbearing, child development, philanthropy, education, and numerous other topics.
    14. USDA's National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) USDA's National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey (FoodAPS) is the first nationally representative survey of American households to collect unique and comprehensive data about household food purchases and acquisitions. Detailed information was collected about foods purchased or otherwise acquired for consumption at home and away from home, including foods acquired through food and nutrition assistance programs. The survey includes nationally representative data from 4,826 households, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households, low-income households not participating in SNAP, and higher income households.
  2. Nutrition
    1. USDA Branded Food Products DatabaseNational nutrients database (USDA ARS) This Web site allows you to search the following: (1) USDA Food Composition Databases from one location (2) USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (Release 28, released September 2015, slightly revised May 2016)
    2. Canadian nutrient database Health Canada publishes two databases which list nutrient values in Canadian foods. The Canadian Nutrient File (CNF) is a comprehensive, computerized bilingual database that reports up to 152 nutrients in over 5690 foods. The database can help you find values for nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, energy, fat and many more, and is updated periodically. The department also periodically produces the Nutrient Value of Some Common Foods (NVSCF) booklet to provide a portable reference of the most popular foods in the Canadian marketplace. This booklet lists 19 nutrients for 1000 of the most commonly consumed foods in Canada.
    3. Global Nutrition Report The Global Nutrition Report—the first-ever comprehensive narrative on global and country-level nutrition—is supported by a wealth of nutrition and nutrition-related data from a wide range of sources. This section provides links to the data underpinning the report itself as well as links to supplementary materials, including over 200 nutrition country, regional, and subregional profiles and data visualization tools.
    4. The Global Expanded Nutrient Supply (GENuS) Here, we attempt to improve upon these datasets by constructing a new model—the Global Expanded Nutrient Supply (GENuS) model—to estimate nutrient availabilities for 23 individual nutrients across 225 food categories for thirty-four age-sex groups in nearly all countries. Furthermore, the model provides historical trends in dietary nutritional supplies at the national level using data from 1961–2011. We determine supplies of edible food by expanding the food balance sheet data using FAO production and trade data to increase food supply estimates from 98 to 221 food groups, and then estimate the proportion of major cereals being processed to flours to increase to 225. Next, we estimate intake among twenty-six demographic groups (ages 20+, both sexes) in each country by using data taken from the Global Dietary Database, which uses nationally representative surveys to relate national averages of food consumption to individual age and sex-groups; for children and adolescents where GDD data does not yet exist, average calorie-adjusted amounts are assumed. Finally, we match food supplies with nutrient densities from regional food composition tables to estimate nutrient supplies, running Monte Carlo simulations to find the range of potential nutrient supplies provided by the diet. To validate our new method, we compare the GENuS estimates of nutrient supplies against independent estimates by the USDA for historical US nutrition and find very good agreement for 21 of 23 nutrients, though sodium and dietary fiber will require further improvement.
    5. World Bank Global Consumption database The data are based on national household surveys, which collect information for a group of households representative of the entire country. For each of the countries covered, the resulting datasets have been used to calculate the share of the population at different levels of consumption. Four levels of consumption are used to segment the market in each country: lowest, low, middle, and higher.
  3. Crop Modeling and Land Use
    1. FAO Global Agro-Ecological Zones Hosts spatial rasters at 5’ resolution for land resources, agro-climatic resources, suitability and potential yield, actual yield and production, and yield and production gaps.
    2. The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) The AgMIP Data Interchange was designed to be the central repository for AgMIP data used in and resulting from modeling activities. AgMIP Phase 1 efforts (2011-2014) have concentrated on the AgMIP Crop Site Database, which contains data related to site-based crop modeling activities, including daily weather data for historic and projected climate conditions, soils, crop management data, and summaries of the simulated outputs from cropping system models.
    3. SERVIR NASA Satellite Imagery SERVIR has a large, diverse collection of user-tailored applications and tools that use Earth observations and NASA data to inform resilient development in various regions in a number of thematic areas.
    4. Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring (GEOGLAM) GEOGLAM is the Group on Earth Observations Global Agricultural Monitoring Initiative. The G20 Ministerial Declaration states that GEOGLAM "will strengthen global agricultural monitoring by improving the use of remote sensing tools for crop production projections and weather forecasting". By providing coordinated Earth observations from satellites and integrating them with ground-based and other in-situ measurements, the initiative will contribute to generating reliable, accurate, timely and sustained crop monitoring information and yield forecasts.
    5. The AgriSense STARS project (Test sites in Tanzania and Uganda) The AgriSense STARS project develops and provides essential tools for agricultural monitoring to facilitate increased accuracy and timeliness of information supporting food security monitoring and improved agricultural statistics in developing countries. Using remote sensing technologies AgriSense is piloting in Tanzania and Uganda methods and tools to improve crop condition monitoring, production forecasting accuracy and timeliness. AgriSense tools include: the GLAM-East Africa portal for satellite data time series interpretation, GeoODK for fast and efficient electronic field data collection and the Crop Monitor for collaborative assessments of the current crop condition and food security situation.
  4. Food security data and early warning
    1. Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) WFP's Food Security Analysis WFP's food security analysis work is commonly known as VAM (Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping) and is carried out by over 150 analysts around the world.
    2. Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS Net) The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 35 countries.
  5. Climate
    1. Princeton Global Meteorological Forcing Dataset This dataset provides near-surface meteorological data for driving land surface models and other terrestrial modeling systems. It blends reanalysis data with observations and disaggregates in time and space. The dataset is currently available at 1.0 degree (plus 0.5 and 0.25 degree), 3-hourly (plus daily and monthly) resolution globally for 1948-2008. Experimental updates include a 1901-2012 version (that will become V2), real-time updates, higher resolution versions for Africa (that assimilates all available gauge data) and future climate projections based on bias-corrected climate model output. Variables at the daily timescale include maximum and minimum temperature, wind speed, and precipitation. Palmer Drought Severity Index is available at 1.0-degree resolution on a monthly basis.
  6. Country Statistics
    1. UK: Department of Statistics
    2. Canada: Department of Statistics
    3. Burkina Faso Data Portal
  7. Ontologies in Agriculture and Nutrition
    1. Vest / AgroPortal Map of Standards This portal provides a global map of existing vocabularies for the exchange of data in the field of food and agriculture. The directory is the continuation of the FAO VEST Registry under the GODAN Action umbrella. It's the result of the merging of records from two different sources: the VEST Registry (a registry of vocabularies of all types and all formats) and the AgroPortal (a repository of RDF ontologies).

      1. Vocabularies, mEtadata Sets and Tools (VEST) Directory Are you looking for tools, metadata standards and vocabularies to be used in the agricultural information management domain? In the Vocabularies, mEtadata Sets and Tools (VEST) Directory you will find resources that can be used within the context of agricultural information management. The objective is to provide support to information workers to find existing metadata standards, vocabularies and information management tools that best suit their needs.
      2. AgroPortal Use AgroPortal to access and share ontologies. You can create ontology-based annotations for your own text , link your own project that uses ontologies to the description of those ontologies , find and create relations between terms in different ontologies, review and comment on ontologies and their components as you browse them.

    Data Base

    1. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Dataverse In collaboration with institutions throughout the world, IFPRI is often involved in the collection of primary data and the compilation and processing of secondary data. The resulting datasets provide a wealth of information at the local (household and community), national, and global levels. IFPRI freely distributes as many of these datasets as possible and encourages their use in research and policy analysis.
    2. Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.S. – Database The databases within FAO cover a broad spectrum of topics related to food security and agriculture.
    3. Geo-spatial data repository for agricultural economists This is a repository of geo-spatial data for agricultural economists. The webpage organizes the datasets into three types: (i) precipitation and temperature, (ii) soil, and (iii) crop productivity and suitability. It provides basic details about each dataset, including spatial resolution, time scale, available variables, and sometimes information about how the data were created (e.g., interpolation, re-analysis, etc.). Many of these datasets can be overlaid with any other spatially referenced dataset and used to create covariates or instruments.
    4. The Land Matrix (contains global land deal information) Open-access database of global land deal information, including country of origin of purchases. There is also differentiation between government and corporate-driven deals.

    Research Groups & Initiatives

    1. Food Security Information Network The Food Security Information Network (FSIN) is a global initiative co-sponsored by FAO, WFP and IFPRI to strengthen food and nutrition security information systems for producing reliable and accurate data to guide analysis and decision-making. FSIN serves as a neutral technical platform for exchanging expertise, knowledge and best practices, developing harmonized methods and tools, and facilitating capacity development on food and nutrition security measurement and analysis.
    2. Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) 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 363 partners from national governments, non-governmental, international and private sector organisations that have committed to a joint Statement of Purpose.
    3. Research Data Alliance (RDA) The Research Data Alliance (RDA) was launched as a community-driven organization in 2013. With more than to 4300 members from 111 countries (September 2016), RDA provides a neutral space where its members can come together through focused global Working and Interest Groups to develop and adopt infrastructure that promotes data-sharing and data-driven research, and accelerate the growth of a cohesive data community that integrates contributors across domain, research, national, geographical and generational boundaries.
    4. Innovative Methods and Metrics for Ag Nutrition in Action (IMMANA) Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA) is a new research initiative funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and coordinated by LCIRAH. IMMANA aims to accelerate the development of a robust scientific evidence base needed to guide changes in global agriculture and food systems to feed the world’s population in a way that is both healthy and sustainable.
      • Agriculture Nutrition and Health Academy The Agriculture, Nutrition & Health (ANH) Academy is a global research network in agriculture and food systems for improved nutrition and health to serve as a platform for learning and sharing. The ANH Academy is part of the three workstreams of the IMMANA programme. It will aim to facilitate the sharing and adapting of methods and metrics developed through IMMANA Grants and Fellowships. It is also a broader partnership that aims to foster a community of researchers working at the intersection of agriculture, nutrition and health.
    5. Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research builds unique partnerships to support innovative and actionable science addressing today’s food and agriculture challenges. The Foundation was established by the Farm Bill passed in 2014 and charged with complementing and furthering the important work of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    6. The Demand Institute: Project8 There is no silver bullet that will close the intelligence gap, nor one dataset that can provide all the answers. Instead, access and collaboration are fundamental. We have prototyped a cloud-based, open data collaboration platform focused on sustainable development data and human needs perspectives, in particular. On one platform, users can contribute, find, visualize and discuss data with other researchers and practitioners around the world. Together, the community can increase the visibility and utility of existing data, identify data gaps and discuss new sources of information.
    7. Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, led by IFPRI The governance and management arrangements of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) follows the guidelines set out in the CGIAR Strategic Results Framework. IFPRI is the lead center, and has overall fiduciary and operational responsibility for the implementation of the Program.
    8. Evans School of Public Policy, University of Washington Established in 2008, the Evans School Policy Analysis and Research Group (EPAR) uses an innovative student-faculty team model to provide rigorous, applied research and analysis to international development stakeholders. EPAR has prepared more than 250 technical reports including: statistical data analysis and research, literature reviews and analysis, and portfolio analysis and strategy support. Our reports focus on agriculture, development policy, financial services, poverty reduction, gender, and measurement and evaluation.
    9. Need for Nutrition Education/Innovation Programme We are anchored in Cambridge (UK) and work with several regional and international partners. We provide a global gateway to individuals and organisations interested in opportunities to improve nutrition and health through education, research, evaluation and advocacy.
    10. Agroknow Agroknow is an extraordinary company that captures, organizes and adds value to the rich information available in agricultural and food sciences, in order to make it universally accessible, useful and meaningful. Launched in 2008 by a small team of people with loads of ideas and eager to work, Agroknow has grown over the years to consist of a team with different expertise, including agronomists, web designers, information scientists, software engineers and web developers capable of providing integrated solutions to an increasingly demanding market. Today, Agroknow is an active contributor in European and international standardisation initiatives in relation to the agricultural data representation and storage, with involvement in fora such as the Agricultural Information Management Standards (AIMS) of the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (FAO) and the Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development (CIARD).


    1. Information on land tenure by country The Portal allows for the collection, sourcing, and searching of otherwise fragmented and inaccessible data and information on land governance and land use from diverse sources, produced by governments, academia, international organizations, indigenous peoples and NGOs.
    2. AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY INDICATORS Open-access data and analysis on agricultural research investment and capacity in low- and middle-income countries
    3. Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development (CIARD) The CIARD Routemap to Information Nodes and Gateways (RING) is a project implemented within the Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development (CIARD) initiative and is led by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR). The RING is a global directory of web-based information services and datasets for agricultural research for development (ARD). It is the principal tool created through the CIARD initiative to allow information providers to register their services and datasets in various categories and so facilitate the discovery of sources of agriculture-related information across the world.
    4. Plantwise Plantwise is a global programme led by CABI, which works to help farmers lose less of what they grow to plant health problems. Working closely with national agricultural advisory services we establish and support sustainable networks of plant clinics, run by trained plant doctors, where farmers can find practical plant health advice. Plant clinics work similarly to clinics for human health: farmers visit with samples of their crops, and plant doctors diagnose the problem and make science-based recommendations on ways to manage it.
    5. The Invasive Species Compendium (ISC) The Invasive Species Compendium (ISC) is an encyclopaedic resource that brings together a wide range of different types of science-based information to support decision-making in invasive species management worldwide. It comprises detailed datasheets that have been written by experts, edited by an independent scientific organization, peer reviewed and enhanced with data from specialist organizations, images, maps, and a bibliographic database of abstracts and full text articles.
    6. Africa Soil Health Consortium: Material Library
      The ISFM materials library is designed to share a wide range of materials. Your search options include by crop, country, language, format (e.g. leaflets, audio visual materials etc.) or by ISFM practice (e.g. planting legumes, application of organic material, fertilizer application etc.). In addition materials under the ‘How to…’ section offer advice and guidance on how to make your own ISFM materials.

    Initiatives in Big Data in Agriculture

    1. Agriledger mobile technology to link small-holders to cooperatives and markets
    2. The Center for Agricultural Networking and Information Sharing (CANIS) CANIS is an agricultural network of agricultural value chain actors that address the challenge of Food and Nutrition;by ensuring the right knowledge among the sectoral actors is delivered to those that deserve it.
    3. Vari Democratizing Agriculture SMS price