Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Information and communication needs to be improved for agriculture


A workshop is currently underway in Fiji to discuss how Pacific Island countries can improve their information and knowledge management to meet agricultural challenges.
 Papua New Guinea participants from Department of Agriculture and Livestock and National Agriculture Research Institute are attending the four-day workshop.
 The objectives of the workshop are to consider new dimensions in information and knowledge management for contributing to rapid agricultural innovation to meet the complex needs of agriculture in the Pacific, to promote greater involvement and participation of organisations and institutions with ‘Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development’ (CIARD), to promote use and application of Web 2.0 and social media in providing information to users in agricultural innovation and market chains, especially through participatory and ‘open’ information and communication management models.
 Information and knowledge management is generation, processing, dissemination and effective use of information and knowledge for innovation to meet current and emerging challenges in agricultural development, is a challenge in itself for the Pacific.
 The small farm sizes, scattered nature of farms, infrastructural limitations, the need to cope with increased global competitiveness in agricultural commodities as also adapting to climate change and loss of agricultural biodiversity add further complexity to managing information and knowledge.
 With limited resources for research and innovation and for information management to meet these complex needs, Pacific countries need to effectively use all useful and relevant information and related resources available locally and globally for agricultural innovation.
 Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and other partners have organised the workshop which was officially opened yesterday by Fiji’s Permanent Secretary for Primary Industries, Col Mason Smith.
 Smith mentioned the importance of developing the agriculture industries using relevant and accurate information and knowledge management and urged the participants to come up with solutions on improving the system.

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