23 July 2006

Agricultural information success stories from Asia-Pacific

The Asia Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions recently published a book of agricultural information 'success stories.' Cases described include those of South Korea's Agricultural Information Service and India's e-Choupal.

Among the conclusions and lessons learned about the 'secrets of success', the author highlights that agricultural information flows are enabled through a chain of components which include: 'information organizations' that generate and process information; 'information platforms' that enable dissemination, sharing and/or exchange of information; 'information buses (pathways)' that transport information between an 'information platform' and its users; 'information and knowledge intermediaries' that intermediate by either localizing and/or globalizing information as per the needs of the user community; and 'user communities' that are not geographically defined but usually form around common needs, objectives, values, etc.

He concludes that the "basis for providing information services are to be defined not by 'suppliers' of information but by needs of the user communities who use information to enlarge their 'information space' and learn from it to act in ways that are beneficial at individual, household and community levels. The role of ICT is primarily to further enable, enhance and enlarge the 'information spaces' and the user communities and enable learning within the user communities."

The book of success stories can be downloaded from the iNARS discussion space (the APAARI link does not always operate).




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