The RDA-IGAD initiative was launched in 2013, in order to work on all issues related to global agriculture research data and, in particular, on harmonized management and interoperability of this data.
Moreover, IGAD serves as a platform leading to the creation of domain-specific Working Groups (WGs) focused on management of particular types of agricultural research data.
To date, five IGAD WGs have been established, which are:
- Wheat Data Interoperability WG aims to provide a common framework for describing, publishing, linking, sharing, reuse of interoperable wheat data with respect to open standards. So far, the group produced two deliverables: Wheat data guidelines, Wheat data vocabularies portal. Moreover, echoing the needs of the Wheat initiative Information System (WheatIS), the WG has identified relevant use cases in order to produce a “cookbook” on how to produce easily shareable, reusable and interoperable wheat data.
- Rice Research Data Interoperability (RDI) WG aims at identifying relevant use cases to produce a “cookbook” on how to produce easily shareable, reusable and interoperable (with respect to open standards) “rice data”. Implementing such a the framework/standard across the globe will help breed a rice research ecosystem with people and organisations engaged in interoperability issues; bring together stakeholders ready to collaborate; develop and promote common tools and services.
- AgriSemantics WG aims to gather community-based requirements and use cases for an infrastructure supporting appropriate use of semantics for data interoperability, with special focus on agriculture. To that end, the group will produce recommendations for the future of semantics for agricultural data, while focusing issues related with software, functionalities, semantic assets enhancing data interoperability in agri-food sector. This Agrisemantics site serves as an entry point to a number of ongoing initiatives around the topic ‘agricultural data and semantics’.
- On-farming research data sharing WG stresses that networks of farmers have become increasingly common to exploit the potential of yield monitors to evaluate management practices across many fields. Collection of results from strip trials across many fields requires protocols for data stewardship (i.e. for data reporting, sharing and archiving). The protocols, however, vary from network to network, and are not easily accessible to people outside the networks. The group aims at creating a standardised set of publicly available protocols that will promote the formation of new farmer networks and enable the combining of results from many networks into one secure database. This latter, in its turn, will provide much more useful and robust answers to many applied questions about crop production practices.
- Soil Data WG works on use cases defined by GODAN stakeholders and members. The group promotes the sharing of soil-related data through web services, and advocates for targeted open soil data (see: GODAN Soil Data WG).