Tell us something about yourself... what is your background and role in the organization you are working for?
I am a Full Professor at the Department of Informatics at the Universidade Federal de Viçosa (UFV) in Brazil. I got a doctoral degree in Computing at Pontificia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Brazil, in 1990. In 1998 I went to the University of Florida, Office of Information Technologies, for a year sabbatical leave, working with information technologies applied to Agriculture and related areas. Since then I have been trying to develop projects in the intersection of information technologies applied to agriculture problems, working together with partners from other departments in UFV. Currently, my main area of interest is Software Engineering, Sofware process in micro-organizations and Software Requirements.
How did you get in contact with AIMS?
Many years ago, through the AGROVOC project. We imported AGROVOC and used its English version in a project developed in our main library at UFV. One of my MS students developed an application that runs until today, to recall information about coffee available in the library assets, SBICafe. This systems is available and can be tested on the Web. Since then, around 2000, I kept in touch with the AGROVOC initiative and its developments, and AIMS is one of them.
Which sections and services on AIMS are of particular use to you?
I am always interested in ontologies and its widespread use, that is my main interest. Although I do not take active part in AIMS and the projects developed, I get the newsletter and follow the news. Particularly, the dissemination of newer versions of AGROVOC, in so many languages, opens lots of possibilities for information technologies uses in agriculture, mainly in developing countries.
Within the domain of agricultural information management standards, tools and methodologies, in which areas should the community invest more? Could you highlight an issue?
For me, quality information is the main issue of interest. That will be the necessary fuel for development anywhere around the globe. We have lots of poor and underdeveloped nations that can benefit a lot from accessing quality information, ready for use in their context. So, information gathering, processing, cleaning, mining and dissemination is the main and more important issue.
Could you give an example of an initiative or tool that has successfully contributed to making agricultural information more accessible?
AGROVOC and its associated project, I have no doubt about this. And I would like to contribute to the project if I can.