July 2004

In Fact:Agricultural initiatives

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SciDev has dossiers on genetically modified crops, i ndigenous knowledge, intellectual property right issues, bio-diversity and biotechnology.


ICIMOD (Internatioanl Centre for Integrated Mountain Development) has numerous links and online resources particularly focused on mountain eco-system in HinduKush Himalayas addressing issues of livelihood, natural resource management, pastoral livelihood and off-farm opportunities.


IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development) has an extensive rural poverty knowledge base covering rural finance, gender, food security and nutrition, livestock and rangeland.


WFP (World Food Program) has used ICT to provide online resources for humanitarian assistance due to natural calamities like floods and draughts.


IWMI (International Water Management Institute) has one terabyte of data on river basin, nations, regions and global in a gateway for RS/GIS (Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System).

The water and Climate Atlas gives irrigation and agricultural planner rapid access to accurate data on climate and moisture availability for agriculture.


CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) has initiated ICTKM program to promote and support the use of ICT and knowledge management to improve the effectiveness of CGIAR. It works on behalf of the poor and developing countries. The projects under this program are grouped around three thrusts. The first will improve how CGIAR communicates by implementing high performance ICT infrastructure both system wise and in support of specific, scientific communities of practice.

The second will create and share the knowledge by capturing information, integrating it and providing easy access to it in the forms users' need. The third thrust will help CGIAR to collaborate by new techniques and KM initiatives to build a culture of co-operative global agricultural research.


IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute) has a wide selection of primary data, processed and compiled secondary data, organized as data sets at local, national and global levels. IFPRI distributes most of these data sets freely and encourages its use for research and policy analysis provided proper citation and information is included. They include agro MAPS (mapping of agricultural production systems).

Data sets also include country level surveys, institutional level surveys, regional data and social accounting matrices. IFPRI is dedicated to providing sustainable solutions for hunger and poverty. Its website also provides Vision 2020 for food, agriculture and environment.


WAICENT (World Agricutural Information Centre) is FAO's virtual libraries that have over six thousand documents in html allowing users to download valuable agricultural information free of charge. It has also online catalogue of all the publications of FAO since 1945. AGROVOC is a multilingual agricultural thesaurus developed by FAO and used to index items in database. The David Lubin Memorial library is considered one of the finest collections of food, agricultural and international development information reaching one million volumes.

www.fao.org/waicent/portal/virtual library_eu.asp

Tele Food is a campaign launched by FAO to raise awareness and generate funds through concerts, sporting events to harness the power of media. So far it has generated $12 million in donations.

It helps to pay for small sustainable projects that help small farmers to produce more food for their families and communities. The project costs between USD 5,000 to 10,000 for seeds and simple farming tools. The interesting aspect of this project is that Tele Food does not charge any administrative cost.




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