The spotlight on Agricola

This annual summary publication features highlights from Namibian agricultural research, but is hard to locate 

One of the discussions that was floated at the recent Open Science and Open Data forum in Namibia was to improve visibility and discoverability by indexing Agricola through AGRIS (International Information System for Agricultural Science and Technology)

If you don’t know it’s there, Agricola is a bit of an unexplored resource.  Produced by Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) it currently appears on the National Botanical Research Institute website where readers can find research articles stretching back to the 1980s,  (input “Agricola” in the top left hand search box – below - to see a full list.)  

A typical issue features a selection of up to ten in-depth articles that give a vivid snapshot of agricultural research and innovation in Namibia.  Research articles in issue 22 in 2012 for example, covered salinity, animal nutrition, grazing capacity and breeding (see table below)


The content reflects one of the MAWF’s chief roles of supporting researchers and scientific Ministry staff in coming up with practical solutions facing the nationwide farming community.

In a foreword to the 2012 issue of Agricola then Permanent Secretary at MAWF Mr Joseph S. Lita wrote: “agricultural research scientists have a significant role to play in the productivity improvement equation. Publication of research articles constitute a very essential active ingredient to agricultural productivity, but also contribute to the body of knowledge of agricultural science….In keeping with this philosophy this publication contains research articles that cover an array of topics that are critical to the development of Ministerial sectors.”

Because it’s not peer-reviewed Agricola isn’t featured in Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA). But the idea is to index using AGRIS to give researchers a better idea that it is there and how to find it.

AGRIS (International System for Agricultural Science and Technology) is a global public database providing access to bibliographic information on agricultural science and technology. AGRIS contains over 8 million bibliographic references on agricultural research and technology and its content is provided by participating institutions from all around the globe that form the network of AGRIS centers (find out more here).

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