15 July 2009

Knowledge creation and knowledge systems for African agriculture

Accra, 15 July 2009: Speaking in the opening plenary of the IAALD Africa conference, Myra Wopereis-Pura introduced FARA and its ‘RAILS’ initiative as a linking and connecting facility among agricultural research and aginfo activities in Africa.

She said that Africa needs comprehensive models and approaches to agricultural information exchange that address the limitations of the various systems and services already spread across the continent.

Arguing that “mere information, in the form of message is not enough” she emphasized the need to move towards knowledge creation. Across Africa, she anticipates – and FARA supports – the emergence of “dynamic and evolving knowledge systems – that each one of us is contributing to.”

At the heart of these systems: knowledge ‘tagged’ according to farmer needs, quality information databases, multi-media tools, as well as feed back and feed forward mechanisms.

She shared some lessons FARA has learned in building and animating such knowledge systems:
  • “they must be people focused”
  • “ownership has to be claimed by each of the partners”
  • “the focus should be on partner priorities not on a particular tool”
  • “we must be conscious of, and recognize, the value adding of each partner.”


FARA website
AgInfo Africa newsfeed
Open AgInfo newsfeed
IAALD Africa presentations

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