10 September 2013 – CABI has decided to provide developing countries with free access to 77 recently published agriculture, plant and veterinary science books, as part of the AGORA programme. Set up by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) together with major publishers, and now in the run up to its 10th anniversary in October 2013, AGORA provides people in developing countries with access to an outstanding digital library collection in the fields of food, agriculture, environmental science and related social sciences. The overall objective of the programme is to enhance the scholarship of thousands of students and researchers in agriculture and life sciences in the developing world.

CABI is a founding member of the AGORA programme, joining as part of its commitment to furthering knowledge management in international development. The 77 books offered by CABI are now available and include titles published from 2008 to 2010, giving users access to recent information. In total, AGORA provides more than 3,000 key journals and around 3,000 books to 2,400 institutions in 116 of the least developed countries. CABI is also providing free health-related books to HINARI – the health equivalent of AGORA – which was set up by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to enable low and middle income countries to gain access to biomedical and health literature. AGORA and HINARI are part of the Research4Life initiative, which aims to improve the quality of research in developing countries.

CABI’s CEO, Dr Trevor Nicholls, said, “A key part of our mission is to strengthen access to research knowledge, especially in the world’s poorest countries. As a world class publisher in agriculture and the environment, we’re delighted to offer free resources to the researchers who need it most, through this global open initiative.”

Stephen Rudgard, AGORA programme manager, FAO, said, “This latest addition of books from CABI’s high quality selection is a further generous contribution to AGORA from one of the founder publisher partners. The collection will be greatly appreciated by users.”

Details about AGORA and eligibility for free access to this information can be found here.