The use of a common language to facilitate communication of agricultural knowledge, is its first success factor to generate new knowledge

Tell us something about yourself... what is your background and role in the organization you are working for?

My name is Elizabeth Ascencio Jurado, I work in Lima (Peru) as an Agricultural Information Management Specialist at the Agricultural Dictatorate of Environmental Affairs (Ministry of Agriculture). I am responsable for the management of the Comunication Services, Broadcasting, Documentation of the land and soils information, along with the agro-environmental issues that the institution generates. In adition to fostering the creation of networks and agrarian information systems within the agricultural sector.

Years ago, I was in charge of the library especialized in natural resourses, the former National Institute of Natural Resources of Peru (INRENA). Later on, I became the responsable of the institutional library of the recently created National Water Authority, a decentralized public agency of the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG). Within this area, I designed an investigation project for knowledge management aimed to create water culture in Peru.

All these years of work in the agricultural sector have been useful to learn, analyze and apply the standards that fit better each task. This is how we started with WebAgris, AGRIS AP, AGROVOC, for the physically registered literature. And more recently AgriOcean DSpace, for the digital information available in the Internet.

The humanistic education received as a librarian with a Master’s Degree on Educational Management and a Master of Information Management and Knowledge, obtained at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in cooperation agreement with the Paul Valery Montpellier III University in France, has made me sensible to value information as an input to development and a better quality of life for the population in general. Also, on how the information can be transformed into new knowledge by managing it according to the models of GCand with the use of platforms which support its management.

How did you get in contact with AIMS?

FAO was an important point of reference for me, I got in contact with its activities thanks to the support provided in my country to develop skills and capacities of our people in the agricultural sector. We carried out workshops back then with AGROREDPERU on AGRIS AP, Open Access, Scientific Production through AGORA among other matters. All these activities were crowned with the realization of RIBDA 2009, an international event that gathered 300 information management experts form America and Europe. That specific moment reinforced the knowledge of the quality and solidity with which FAO handles information and validates its standards for the management.That is where the AIMS portal ends up being very useful and a necessary source of daily practice to carry out our work. I daily consult it and read the e-mails sent, as well as referencing colleagues in Peru for consultation.

What is your opinion on AIMS?

It achieves its objectives, trains new agents on agricultural information, reports on progress made in standards, events, news, communicates best practices, etc. It is agile, communicative, participatory, multidisciplinary and comprehensive, because it allows the connection of people with similar interests while favoring the creation of a specialized knowledge network of in GIA. Its technical solidity gives us confidence to turn to it for consultation whenever we require solutions to specific problems.

According to you, what is the most important benefit that AIMS provides to the agricultural information management community?

Its strength lies in the awareness that on the other side of the line and of the sea, we have a group of people with the expertise required to consult issues of agricultural information management, with models of appropriate technological tools, experiences, best practices and open participation in communities enrolled in AIMS. Its benefit is that we know we can count on the support needed to technically process the agrarian literature with the thoroughness and quality of documentary data, handling it for inclusion in the platforms and can be then retrieved by item.

How do you think that information management standards can contribute to agricultural research for development?

The use of a common language to facilitate communication of agricultural knowledge, is its first success factor to generate new knowledge. It is the greatest contribution that the objectives of AIMS can give to the development of Agrarian scientific Research. Also, giving researchers tools that enhance interoperability and scientific communication treated in different forms and levels, thus transforming the implicit knowledge of an individual into explicit, allowing the flow between systems and giving value to agricultural information generated in a given country. My main concern is that it becomes a common and daily practice, used with familiarity by agents at all levels, especially by the researchers. That is why, the Ministry of Agriculture in Peru, (MINAG), facilitates its dissemination and emphasises the necessity of application for the agrarian information generated.