A Summer of Learning: AGRIMONITOR Food Policy Database

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In April 2017 during my spring break, I decided to take an open content course from EdX entitled Data,Development and Citizen Engagement and wrote about it. Today I begin a different EdX course offered by the Inter-American Development Bank: AgriMonitor: Agricultural policy, food security and climate change. I have three weeks in August before the fall semester starts to learn this material and also start learning Neo4J, which I will write about next week. (Even though the live course ended in June, it’s still available in archival form to learn the material.)

AgriMonitor is a database that uses indicators to monitor changes in national agricultural policies, compares countries, and monitors international commitments over time. The linked worksheet above provides a step-by-step guide to accessing the data and using its visualizations to answer questions about agricultural measures that affect policies. Although the raw data doesn’t seem to be available, this tool looks like a great resource for non-technical people since the Tableau-like visualizations are interactive. For more information on the indicators, here’s another resource.

Suppose I wanted to find out the value of farm commodity consumption in Paraguay. I would go to the main webpage, then click on the “Countries” tab, then click on “Paraguay” flag below.

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On the next page, click on the “TSE” tab for the country of Paraguay. Then click beside the + icon that has “Total Value of Production (at Farm Gate)” to find the data visualization. You can download the file in a variety of formats using the icons at the top right of this page.

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This is just one example of a query but there are many others so I encourage you to explore on your own. Agrimonitor seems to have a lot of potential and also to be combined with other data sets from other organizations that monitor agricultural variables in a development context. I hope you’ve enjoyed following along with me during my summer of learning. 

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