FAO offers new sustainable agriculture tool

A new data portal designed to inform efforts to make global agriculture development more sustainable is now online and available for public use.

The Global Agro-Ecological Zones Interactive Data Access Facilities, or GAEZ, portal is a joint project of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Thirty years in the making, this planning tool is designed to help agricultural experts, policymakers, development planners and similar stakeholders identify areas where agriculture production can be increased without negatively affecting the environment.

GAEZ can be used to identify “bridgeable yield gaps” and their causes to allow the formulation of policies and provision of appropriate assistance to help farmers produce more, Parviz Koohafkan, head of FAO’s land and water division, said in a news release. FAO defined yield gaps as differences between how much food an area is producing and the actual capacity to produce given proper techniques and support.

The tool is based on an inventory of global agriculture resources and related information organized around the following themes: land and water resources, agro-climatic resources, agricultural suitability and potential yields, actual yields and production, and yield and production gaps.

GAEZ can be accessed at this link, where a guide for using the tool is also available.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.