14 agricultural infographics – The rise and rise of the infographic part two

Last year we posted a blog article about the role of infographics in communicating policy and advocacy messages in a simple, accessible and powerful way. The trend for the infographic to present big data and hard hitting facts to the masses is still growing and here are some more infographics we think you should take a look at:

  1. Oxfam Australia in their infographic, What’s wrong with our food system, look at why so many farmers are hungry.
  2. The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center documents Advances in global agriculture.
  3. Public Health Degree investigate the Two sides of the global food crisis.
  1. Online Schools compare Oil fields with corn fields in terms of their productivity and greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. The United States Agency for International Development’s infographic, The global state of agriculture, looks ahead to how we must increase food for a growing population.
  3. The International Food Policy Research Institute document how conservation agriculture works in Farming for the long haul.
  4. Monsanto explores The role of data science in agriculture.
  5. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, through their FAOSTAT database, explores Our food and agriculture in numbers. The FAO have also created Genetic resources and biodiversity for food and agriculture.
  6. Raconteur presents the facts on Sustainable agriculture.
  7. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have created several infographics entitled Simple innovations help African farmers thrive, Growing rice for a hungry world and Making progress on the MDGs.
  8. Float Mobile Learning examines how Mobile technologies in North American agriculture have developed and progressed.
  9. GSMA M-Agri have published an infographic on the Agricultural productivity gap and the opportunity for mobile.
  10. ONE’s, A growing opportunity: Measuring investments in African agriculture, investigates whether promises by governments and donors have been kept.
  11. The International Food Policy Research Institute look at Meat: the good, the bad and the complicated.


Searching for appropriate technologies: IFPRI’s agri-tech toolbox

Rosegrant_book_cover_crop240Solutions to the world’s food insecurity and environmental problems are numerous. Some suggest it is the not the lack of a solution that hampers progress in addressing hunger, climate change and natural resource scarcity but rather the difficulty in choosing the most appropriate solution.

The International Food Policy Research Institute recently launched the results of a new research project (Food Security in a World of Growing Natural Resource Scarcity: The Role of Agricultral Technologies), which assesses the likely impacts of agricultural technologies on global crop productivity, hunger and economic development. Showcasing the project, is an infographic, produced by IFPRI, which outlines:

The eleven agricultural innovations investigated

  • No-till farming
  • Water harvesting
  • Organic agriculture
  • Precision agriculture
  • Drought tolerance
  • Heat tolerance
  • Integrated soil fertility management
  • Drip irrigation
  • Sprinkler irrigation
  • Nitrogen use efficiency
  • Crop protection

The data used

Global crop land was divided into cells, and data on physical characteristics such as soil, elevation and weather were combined with management information on crops grown and techniques used.

The research outputs

Each of the innovations were assessed in terms of their impacts on agricultural yields, food prices, trade, hunger risk, natural resource use and land use at global, regional and local scales.

Some of the results

No till practices in irrigated maize led to a productivity increase of 67%

Improving nitrogen use efficiency could reduce hunger by 12%

Using heat tolerant maize varieties reduced the price of maize by 15%

Using multiple technologies amplified the effects: food prices for maize were 49% lower, for wheat 45% lower and for rice 43% lower, leading to a reduction in the number of malnourished children by 12% and of the number of people at risk of hunger by 40%.

Of course this infographic only highlights some of the results of the project. Alongside the infographic, IFPRI have published a policy note and also created an online app that allows users to explore how agricultural and food security indicators will change in 2050 by selecting a country or region and a technology, climate scenario, crop and water management practice. The hope is that such a tool will lead to better and more impactful decision making regarding investments and developing policies. The toolbox also helps identify the technologies most appropriate to the conditions on the ground, although nothing can compare to direct knowledge from the farmers themselves. [Read more…]

The rise and rise of the infographic

HungerIn the policy and advocacy sphere finding the best way to communicate to a broad audience is a constant challenge. As we have seen while following the COP19 in Warsaw, urgent messages, such as the importance of including agriculture in climate negotiations, do not always get through to those making decisions.

The challenge is to unravel complex data and present it in an accessible and powerful way. Enter the infographic, which lays out hard hitting facts and figures in an aesthetically pleasing manner. Just this week, we’ve stumbled upon several new infographics, which help to explain how the world works and where we’re heading in the future.

Despite (or perhaps because of) agriculture remaining side-lined at the COP, it may be that agriculture groups will need to refocus their efforts on other UN processes instead.  The post-2015 agenda, for instance, offers such an opportunity, as a new infographic by Farming First illustrates.

The infographic, entitled Food and Farming in 2030, presents a range of trends and data for the year 2030 (when the Sustainable Development Goals or post-2015 agenda is set to expire).  In essence, it lays out where we need to be by 2030 and how can agriculture help us get there. For example by 2030, agriculture will have the potential to mitigate around 7.5% of the world’s carbon emissions (3% currently) and so excluding agriculture from climate change talks is a major missed opportunity to tackle climate change.

Farming First, a coalition of multi-stakeholder organisations that come together to “articulate, endorse and promote practical, actionable programmes and activities to further sustainable agricultural development worldwide” have produced a whole range of infographics on: Agriculture and the Green Economy; the Female Face of Farming; and the Story of Agriculture and Climate Change. Aside from their awareness raising and policy influencing work, Farming First have amassed over 100 case studies from around the world, which demonstrate best practices in sustainable agricultural development. They also list the food and nutrition security initiatives occurring across the globe and in one of their recent blogs discuss whether social media can change the world.

For policy advocates they have also produced a Guide to the UNFCCC negotiations on agriculture, to help communicate and campaign on the importance of agriculture.

Given the outcomes of COP19, we have much work left to do if agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are to be curbed and smallholder farmers supported in adapting to climate change. Although infographics alone are unlikely to be a driver of change, their images can be powerful and they can raise awareness, communicating important information quickly and ultimately driving societal pressure for decision makers to take notice.

Here are some other infographics that caught our eye:

Hungry Planet: Consumption around the globe, International Business Guide

Business is Booming – in Africa, International Business Guide

You Are What You Eat, and You Eat What You Earn, Businessweek