Invitation to the Interest Group in Agricultural Data (IGAD) Pre-Meeting P12 in Gaborone, Botswana


Gaborone (Botswana). 5-6 November 2018

Formed in 2013, since its inception the Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) has grown in community strength to over 200 members, becoming one of the RDA’s most prominent Thematic Groups. IGAD is a domain-oriented group working on all issues related to global agriculture data. It represents stakeholders in managing data for agricultural research and innovation, including producing, aggregating and consuming data.

Beyond this IGAD promotes FAIR principles and good practices in research with regard data sharing policies, data management plans, and data interoperability, and it is a forum for sharing experience and providing visibility to research and work in agricultural data.

One of IGAD’s main roles is to serve as a platform that leads to the creation of domain-specific Working Groups. To date, four successful Working Groups (WGs) have been formed under IGAD, these are: Wheat Data Interoperability, Rice Data Interoperability, AgriSemantics and On-Farm Data Sharing WGs. All groups played an active role at the last RDA Plenaries, in Berlin (Germany), Montreal (Canada) and Barcelona (Spain).


  • To promote good practices in the research domain: data sharing policies, data management plan, data interoperability,
  • To provide a platform for networking and cross-fertilization of research ideas in data management and interoperability,
  • To solicit and promote interactions and projects among the major international institutions and groups worldwide which work on agricultural research and innovation,
  • To achieve data interoperability


The RDA holds its plenary meetings every six months at different locations around the world. Built around the RDA Working and Interest Group meetings the sessions are designed to consolidate the RDA’s work and that of its interest groups in building social and technological bridges towards open data sharing. IGAD’s role since its inception at the RDA Gothenburg has expanded with every successive Plenary. The outcomes of the Wheat Data Interoperability Group have proved to be a success and the challenge is now on to replicate those successes with the Rice Group.

IGAD has used the Plenary meetings as a place to reach out and forge new alliances with other groups, as well as creating new offshoot groups aimed at specific solutions. During Plenary sessions IGAD has hosted a wide array of speakers and discussions and it continues to work alongside major international initiatives and research bodies such as GODAN, CGIAR, CTA, EMBRAPA, CAAS, FAO of the UN, INRA, CIMMYT, CODATA, NARIs/NARS,  among others.


The new edition of the RDA Plenary Meeting, the biannual meeting of the research data community, will be held on 5-8 November 2018 in Gaborone, Botswana. In this edition, the 12th RDA Plenary Meeting will be included in the International Data Week (IDW 2018), and combined with SciDataCon 2018. To a greater degree than at IDW 2016 in Denver, Colorado, the events will be integrated, such that each day will feature an inspiring and engaging range of activities.

With the focus on “Data collection in Africa: State of the art, challenges and solutions”, IGAD members are organizing a series of events November 5 and 6, 2018, during the IDW 2018.

The conclusions of these activities will be shared at the 12th RDA Plenary Meeting at the Agricultural Data Interest Group Session.

On November 5, the IGAD community members will organize a one-day meeting dedicated to the theme “How agriculture in Africa can benefit from data collection”.  During this day, IGAD would like (i) to explore data collection practices in Africa and challenges associated to it; (ii) to discuss possible benefits of data collection for farmers and (iii) to share straightforward and low cost data collection methods.

November 6 will be dedicated to a GODAN Action Workshop associated to IGAD. Open data can benefit a great variety of actors tackling food security and nutrition challenges in developing countries. However, the full realisation of these opportunities requires insights in how to close the digital divide between open data and the potential users. GODAN Action therefore is an innovative project researching and making practical application of its findings to enable effective use of open data in agriculture and nutrition. The project explores three work streams: (1) improving knowledge and capacity on (usage of) standards, by providers and intermediaries; (2) understanding impact, to be able to efficiently monitor and measure impact and to be able to improve the potential impact of new initiatives; (3) capacity building as a mechanism to leverage and extend the potential of networks. The project has set up a programme to build the capacity of potential stakeholders to both understand the potential of open data for agriculture and nutrition and to engage with it practically.

GODAN Action, IGAD and partners propose two parallel workshops for (1) researchers and (2) infomediaries (technology specialists, librarians, journalists, communication officers etc.). The aim is to enable participants to discover, use and describe the benefits of open data, and how they impact agriculture and nutrition development.


Would you like to attend and/or active participate in these events? Please write an e-mail to [email protected].


We are looking forward to meeting you in Gaborone,

Co-chairs of the Interest Group on Agriculture Data (IGAD), for the IGAD Task Force 2018

Esther Dzale-Yeumo (INRA, France)

Patricia Rocha Bello Bertin (EMBRAPA, Brazil)

Armando Stellato (University of Tor Vergata, Italy)

Imma Subirats Coll (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Italy)


IGAD Task Force (Botswana 2018)

Centre International de Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - International Centre for Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD)

Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA)

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Global Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) and GODAN Action

Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA)

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)


Online version of the invitation (this document remains updated):


International Data Week & related RDA and CODATA events (5-10 November 2018, Gaborone, Botswana)
Apply for the CODATA/RDA School for Research Data Science - Workshop: 22 October – 2 November, 2018 (Kigali, Rwanda)