Sunday, 31 August 2008

World Conference on Agricultural Information and IT

Tokyo, Japan, 24 - 27 August. Joint Conference of IAALD, AFITA and WCCA 12th World Congress of the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists (IAALD) 6th Conference of the Asian Federation of Information Technology in Agriculture (AFITA) 6th World Congress on Computers in Agriculture (WCCA).

This conference had 250 participants from 46 countries and areas. Participants were from diverse background, including practitioners, researchers, educators and policy makers from various disciplines such as computer science, information technology, library and information science, archives, knowledge management, etc.

The Conference provided an effective forum for agriculture related researchers and information specialists to share and discuss the latest development on applications and developments in the use of Information Technologies. These include new applications of well established and understood technologies to innovative and entrepreneurial applications of emerging technologies, in addition to issues related to policy and knowledge dissemination. The Conference also provided an appropriate forum for agricultural information specialists for information dissemination, exchange and knowledge sharing.

The conference was held at the Atsugi Campus of the Tokyo University of Agriculture
Videos from IAALD:

Rachel Rege of KARI explains how the institute addresses policy, capacity, content and infrastructure challenges in Kenya. Her main challenge is to consolidate the various content streams so it can be streamed to different groups or communities.

Gauri Salokhe introduces the new aggregation service at

Margaret Sraku-Lartey of the Forest Research Institute of Ghana explains how forest information specialists need to work together and with scientists to make their infromation more accessible. She emphasizes the importance of cheap and easy approaches.

Luz Marina Alvare of the International Food Policy Research Institute relfects on the differences between generations of researchers and the impacts of these on their information-seeking behaviours.

Roxanna Sami, (IFAD) focused on the role of mobile phones and the impact they are having in rural Africa. Mobiles have an inclusive effect, both socially and economically, and really represent a great success story in Africa. She also reflects on the role of international organizations and how these should influence national government to make sure that adoption of ICTs is central in their poverty reduction strategies.

Dion Jerling of Connect Africa believes that combining social entrepreneurship with the adoption of the latest technologies from the mobile network market and satellite connections will provide farmers and rural communities with access to the information they need.