Agricultural Data Mining in the 21st Century

Agricultural Data Mining in the 21st Century

E. Arlin Torbett, Tanya M. Candia
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-196-4.ch013
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Data on the production, sale, repackaging, and transportation of fresh produce is scarce, yet with recent threats to national safety and security, forward and backward traceability of produce is mandatory. Recent advances in online marketing of fresh produce, a new international codification system and use of advanced technologies such as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and bar coding are working together to fill the gap, building a solid database of rich information that can be mined. While agricultural data mining holds much promise for farmers, with better indications of what and when to plant, and for buyers, giving them access to improved food quality and availability information, it is the world’s health organizations and governments who stand to be the biggest beneficiaries. This chapter describes the current state of fresh produce data collection and access, new trends that fill important gaps, and emerging methods of mining fresh produce data for improved production, product safety and public health through traceability.
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As of 2006, an estimated 36 percent of the world’s workers are employed in agriculture (International Labour Organization, 2007), down from 42% in 1996, making it by far the most common occupation across the globe. Although agricultural production accounts for less than five percent of the gross world product (an aggregate of all gross domestic products), it has been the world’s key industry for centuries. It is the sale and purchase of agricultural products that has long provided the financial foundation for this industry.

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