Openness in Agricultural Information and Knowledge Sharing

To promote “openness” in agricultural information and knowledge management, a special session with a theme ‘Openness in Agriculture Information and Knowledge Sharing”  was organized in November 2011 as part of the “International Conference on Innovative Approaches for Agricultural Knowledge Management: Global Extension Experiences” Conference. This conference was organized by Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) in collaboration with Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) , the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (F.A.O) and other partners.

Some highlights of the session

A total of 12 papers were presented in the session 'Openness in Agricultural Information and Knowledge Sharing' . These focused on the key themes of ‘Openness’ vis-ä-vis, Technological issues; Institutional issues and Community participation issues. In summary:-

  • It was noted that  a large proportion of agricultural research is done by and through public funds or by public collective and/or participatory action.  The outputs of this research, especially data and information, should therefore technically be “public goods”. 
  • “Openness” of agricultural information and knowledge in the context of the emerging paradigm of agricultural innovation should mean that a large part of relevant and useful information (including data) generated by and through the public sector investment should be made available and also accessible as a public good to all its users.

Strategy for bringing in Openness to Agriculture

The following were highlighted as the strategies to enable and support greater ‘openness’ in sharing and exchanging agricultural information;-

  • Creating Awareness, Sensitization and Advocacy to enable “openness” in sharing agricultural information and knowledge in the relevant public sector institutions at national level.
  • Developing the capacity in agricultural communities to generate, manage, disseminate and use information (and data) more effectively and with equity.
  • Developing Institutions, Organizations and organizational structures that enable and support open sharing and exchange of agriculture related information globally.
  • Improving the governance of agricultural information flows globally through greater
    inclusiveness in formulation of policies, regulations, rules, standards and norms related to information management and communications.

To find out more about this session read the full conference proceedings by following this link