Capturing agricultural knowledge for future development and research
Worldwide concern about food security and climate change is at an all-time high and it is widely accepted that the most vulnerable communities in the tropical regions of the developing world will be the hardest hit.
Research has already been done that could improve yields and reduce losses immediately if effectively disseminated and implemented. However, in developing countries, little of this information is available in a format that allows it to be accessed.
CABI, as a partner of CIARD (Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development) www.ciard.net – an initiative working to make public domain agricultural research information and knowledge truly accessible to all – is trying to mitigate this by creating a network of agricultural information for the world’s researchers to share.
The Global Agricultural Research Archive (GARA)
This resource has been set up as an agricultural knowledge archive on behalf of developing countries around the world. The aim of the project is to preserve, disseminate and apply valuable research, for the benefit of current researchers and generations to come. The archive is centrally managed and maintained to enable its preservation and disaster recovery. It is available free of charge to those working in the area and incorporated into the prestigious CAB Abstracts database.
What do we want to achieve?
With the help of our partners and donors on this project, we aim to achieve the following with GARA:
support developing nations to improve their knowledge economy and protect their agricultural research
provide wide dissemination of this knowledge to the global research and policy communities
enable researchers and policy makers to improve agricultural practices and productivity
capture and release lost knowledge about indigenous crops and diseases to enable better decision making and help to improve food security and global farming practices (e.g. knowledge on crop wild relatives)
What does it contain?
At this point (October 2010), there are over 2,000 full text research articles within the database provided on behalf of three developing countries in Africa, South and South East Asia. The developing nations providing literature at present are:
Malawi – more than 630 full text articles*
Pakistan – more than 1300 full text articles*
The Philippines – more than 680 full text articles*
We also have the complete articles from the proceedings of the IAALD (International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists) 2008 Conference.
*These figures will increase as we regularly add more articles to the archive.
You can access this resource by visiting www.cabi.org/gara and browsing the collections through either the options in the left-hand column or searching for a particular keyword. Each result is available as a full text pdf to download or print.
"The project has assisted Bunda College of Agriculture to unearth some of the documents its library did not have a copy of. It has also strengthened the working relationship between the College and the local scientific institutions, and between the College and CABI."
Geoffrey F. Salanje, Bunda College of Agriculture Librarian, Malawi (partner in the GARA project)