AIMS Newsletter No.83, May 2019

Dear AIMS readers,

Please find the AIMS Newsletter for May 2019 which focuses on how AGRIS is facilitating access to datasets in agriculture. Learn also about how the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture is facilitating access to big data. 

Enjoy your copy,



The FAO AGRIS team is pleased to announce that AGRIS users can now explicitly search for datasets on the AGRIS website. This new function comes with access to the inaugural 1,528 datasets that were added to AGRIS.

The initial datasets are from the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or Ag Data Commons. This development is part of several small improvements to the AGRIS interface, users can expect further enhancements in the coming months.

The new functionality strengthens AGRIS’ goal of facilitating access, not only to bibliographic information related to scholarly and scientific publications, but also to datasets, aligned to searches conducted on AGRIS.

More information on how to access these datasets here


Good news for ASFA and AGROVOC Users

ASFA and AGROVOC teams are working together to share some infrastructure and enrich the controlled vocabularies.

ASFA’s controlled vocabularies cover subject, taxonomic and geographic terms and are essential to providing high-level search options on the ASFA database.

Read more information here

AGROVOC May release with 36,212 concepts

FAO AGROVOC team is pleased to announce the release for AGROVOC release for May 2019. The May 2019 release brings AGROVOC to a total of 36,212 concepts up from 36,196 concepts in April 2019.

The AGROVOC May 2019 release was published today. Many thanks to those who contributed. The current release improved AGROVOC in a number of ways, including quality control and correcting alignments with other linked vocabularies.

The next release should be in the first days of June 2019.

More information about this release here

AGROVOC editorial meeting scheduled for Darmstadt, Germany 24-25 June 2019

AGROVOC editorial meeting will be in Darmstadt, Germany 24-25 June 2019.

The objectives of this meeting will be to reinforce the AGROVOC editorial community, to invite institutions to curate new languages and new topics.

AGORA/Research4Life  News 

Research4Life workshop focuses on the information resources related to land 

During the recent “State of Land Data & Information in East Africa: Catalyzing East Africa's Land Data Ecosystem”, 8-10th May in Nairobi, Kenya. Research4Life held on the 10th of May a workshop that presented the Research4Life programmes, and focusing on information resources related to legal resources and land.

The workshop focused on the following R4L programmes - AGORA (Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture), OARE (Online Access to Research in the Environment) and especially GOALI (Global Online Access to Legal Information).The 51 participants explored how to find scientific journals and books in Research4Life, in particular legal research related to land.

Research4Life training overviewThe presentation focused on information resources and legal research related to land, emphasizing the cross-cutting aspects. Topics included what is Research4Life, the content portals, how to search, an introduction to legal information and legal systems, and the legal research process.

Read more information here

News From AIMS Community

Spotlight on the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture

The CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture is a global repository of data in agriculture that aims to democratize decades of agricultural data and making it open and available. Data is available for analysts, statisticians, programmers and more to mine information on trends and to inform policy making, amongst many other uses.

The CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture recognizes that data has become a valuable global commodity and that the smart and effective use of data is one of the important tools for achieving the UN Sustainable Development GoalsThe platform was launched in May 2017 after two years of consultation with private, non-profit, and public stakeholders in digital agriculture worldwide.

The platform and CGIAR were thus positioned to be a leader in the use of big data and information technology in agriculture and to lead in reducing hunger and poverty and to drive equitable rural development.                                                                               source: CGIAR leaflet

Call for Applications: The CGIAR's 2019 Inspire Challenge awarding up to 750,000 USD for innovative big data solutions that transform the lives of smallholder farmers

The 2019 launch of CGIAR’s Inspire Challenge is great news for innovators looking to transform the agriculture sector, with smallholder farmers in the lead.The CGIAR Inspire Challenge is the innovation process of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture and seeks to source and foster new solutions for digital agriculture in developing economies.

Winning teams will receive $100,000 to put their ideas into practice. Teams will have 12 months to implement small-scale proof of concept pilots to demonstrate viability. Successful pilots will be placed on the trajectory to wider-scale implementation, including the possibility of receiving an additional $250,000 of scale-up funding. 

Read more information here.

"Big data in agriculture presents an opportunity to find new ways of ending hunger and poverty" an Interview with Brian King (Cordinator CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture) 

The FAO AIMS team caught up with Brian King, who is the Coordinator of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture.

We asked him a few questions on the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture.

Read the exciting interview here

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