IAALD XIIIth World Congress
organized by Agropolis International

26-29 April 2010, Montpellier, France

Scientific and Technical Information and Rural Development

Information scientifique et technique et développement rural

Highlights of Innovative Practices / Eclairages sur des pratiques innovantes

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New Tools / Nouveaux outils

Chair and rapporteur: Krishan Jeehan Bheenick(SACD)

The SIST-GIRE platform: an example of the link between research and communication for development

Patrick BISSON1, Abou AMANI2, Robert DESSOUASSI3, Christophe LE PAGE4, Brahim MAHAMAT3

1UMR Geau, CIRAD, France; 2Unesco, Ghana; 3NBA, Niger; 4UR Green, CIRAD, France;

Not attending

Integrated water management is a global challenge and particularly in developing countries. It requires the mobilization of researchers, decision-makers, river-basin agencies, and generally of all stakeholders.

The mobilization of the international scientific community led to the creation of the Challenge Programme “Water and Food” that gathers together scientific teams from across the world on this theme.

Nine benchmark basins have been chosen in the developing countries. Among its basins, the French Foreign Ministry chose two basins, the Limpopo basin and the Mekong basin. The Niger basin has been added. A Research Development project named ECHEL-EAU has been implemented and finances seven projects within the three basins, and also supports some capacity building. These projects produce new tools, new training modules and new methods shared between the three basins.

At the same time, the French Foreign Ministry has supported another project named SIST to set up a collaborative platform. It consists of: an internet site, a set of user-friendly modules for a non-stop documentation and information dissemination, and some means for exchanging information and ideas (Forum, Wiki). The users of this platform are researchers and otheractors in development work. Some platforms are thematic and, in particular, a platform on integrated water management was implemented. This is managed by the Niger Basin Authority, as president of the African Network of Organisms of Basin (RAOB).

As a matter of course the two projects came closer and this collaboration helped nourish the platform with new tools, training modules and methods, not only in the Niger basin but also within the two other benchmark basins. The platform allowed an effective valorization and dissemination of the results on other basins on the African continent.

BISSON-2010-The SIST-GIRE platform-IAALD-Congress-301_b.pdf


The use and management of RSS feeds by a network of agricultural information specialists to support information exchange among regional stakeholders in Southern Africa

Krishan Jeehan BHEENICK1, Chandrabose SEMBHOO2

1Southern African Development Community (SADC), Botswana; 2Agricultural Research & Extension Unit, Mauritius;

News feeds are rapidly becoming a standard feature of websites around the world. Unfortunately the technology does not spread as rapidly to websites of agricultural institutions in the developing world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where the websites are all too often an enhanced version of a corporate brochure. Furthermore, institutions which have previously invested in equipment and software to host their websites may not be able to convince management to invest further to add some ‘new web 2.0’ feature. In the process of developing the regional integrated Agricultural Information Management System (SADC-AIMS), the SADC Network of Agricultural Information Managers has devised some strategies for information originating from the countries of the region to be visible on the regional agricultural portal. This will enable such information also to be captured by international observatories, while also developing thematic, country-wise and regional newsfeeds for stakeholders in the region to subscribe to and access. Furthermore, the Network uses social bookmarking websites and specific tags as means of making information published electronically about agriculture in their country more visible on the web. The paper describes the various principles adopted by the network of individuals to collaborate and further network around the web tool to enhance information dissemination and exchange among their regional stakeholders but also to stakeholders beyond their region. Tools are now freely available to enable agricultural News and Events from developing countries to be disseminated using the described approach. The lessons learnt from this experience are that the new web 2.0 tools, although powerful in their functionalities, require that people establish procedures for collaboration and coordination of their efforts around the tool in order to have the impact from a collective perspective, whether it be thematic, national or regional.

BHEENICK-2010-The use and management of RSS feeds by a network of agricultural information specialists-IAALD-Congress-23_b.pdf


Benefits of integrated Information systems for farmers and advisors as well as vertical and horizontal chain partners

Walter MAYER

PROGIS Software GmbH, Austria;

The food insecurity situation was/is effected by global warming, population growth, focus on bio-energy, low technology acceptance, unfavourable policies, sustainability criteria, changing natural risk- and subsidy management, etc.. Sustainability-, agriculture-, forestry- and environmental targets are interlinked and influence themselves. We need new types of ICT based land management covering protection of land and biodiversity, guaranteeing a sustainable management of agriculture and forest enterprises and multipurpose land use, optimizing the economical benefit and evaluating the land use potential with its carrying capacity.

ICT technologies linked with scientific-expert data, easy to use software (= technical information) and precision farming technologies will be essential to achieve a sustainable improvement. Large AND small farmers must have access to know-how, equipment and technologies to optimize food production processes by considering nutritional- and/or biomass targets.

The benefits of an integrated technology where farmers, advisors, contractors, supply chain, industries and consumers are integrated can be summarized as follows:

GIS gives detailed information on size and exact location of fields - a base for calculation and logistics. Farm management tools allow cultivation planning and documentation (even for GLOBALGAP ), nutrient- and CO²-balance, cost calculations and provide information for trust centre or farm advisory services.

Logistical solutions with central and mobile GIS systems allow planning of complete regions and serves farmers, food-industries and contractors. Meteo-data allow better decisions. Business-plans assist the cooperation with banks and insurance companies . Machine interfaces allow the set up of precision farming , group solutions, statistical analysis for regions or countries and an upgrade with forest- or environmental caretaking solutions. Risk management solutions lead farmers to be better integrated into this new vitally important field. These tools have been installed and piloted with thousands of farmers.

MAYER-2010-Benefits of integrated Information systems-IAALD-Congress-188_b.pdf



Agricultural advisory services:Interactive Web TV for virtual meetings addressing large audiences


1Acta Informatique, France; 2Sup Agro Dijon, France;

Web TV (a TV channel over the internet) is becoming very popular in agriculture as well as in other professional (and non-professional!) sectors. Thanks to the support of the French Ministry of Agriculture, within the project called "Agri Web Télé et Conférences Interactives au service du développement agricole et rural", we developed a number of interactive Web TV programmes in 2008 and 2009, together with the implementation of video-conferencing facilities. These video-conferencing systems are also now used as low-cost video studios.

In a first part of this paper, we describe the situation of the internet in French rural areas. We verify that low cost internet broadband access is available everywhere, thanks to either adsl lines or satellite connections. In this context, we believe that everybody will be able to watch the programmes that we are producing.

In a second part, we present and discuss our achievements (technical aspects, programmes, targeted public, produced videos, interactivity with the public, statistics of connexions) and draw some lessons from our experience.

After reviewing the newsletters distributed within the French agricultural sector, and used to promote our Web TV programmes, we will conclude with examining the use of video-conferencing facilities for meetings of rather small virtual groups, and interactive Web TV for meetings of larger groups or informing an anonymous public. We also emphasise the two lives of interactive Web TV programmes: the first one being the initial real-time broadcast, the second one being the on demand access to archived programmes.

WAKSMAN-2010-Agricultural advisory services-IAALD-Congress-303_b.pdf

Agropolis International publication - ISBN 978-2-909613-03-1

IAALD2010 Web Site : iaald2010.agropolis.fr - Contact : iaald2010@agropolis.fr