Agricultural development is largely dependent on information and data sharing; data sharing allows organizations to learn from and collaborate with each other so that they may better innovate development programs and solutions to agricultural issues.
Last year, a prototype of a global platform that will make the sharing of current information on experts and organizations more efficient and improve collaboration was developed: AgriVIVO is a search portal and database containing aggregated data on people, organizations and events in agriculture. AgriVIVO was launched by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) in partnership with the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Cornell University in an effort to foster inter-institutional conversations and drive agricultural innovation. It does so by aggregating and organizing expertise and affiliation data from several institutional and community databases into one platform. The purpose of making these data accessible through a global portal is to allow experts to identify potential collaborators worldwide; prevent duplication of research; identify issues that require more research; enable researchers to identify agricultural trends; and provide an accurate, up-to-date assessment of existing agricultural projects, trends, and information. Right at this moment, the partners involved in the project are planning the next phase of developments that will make the platform more capable as a fully fledged portal with comprehensive data from national and regional data providers as well as individual institutions.
At present, AgriVIVO contains data covering 788 experts, 4,742 organizations, and 225 events. This data has been aggregated from various providers, including Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD), E-agriculture, GFAR and Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development (CIARD). The newest data provider for AgriVIVO is CABI, an international nonprofit that addresses agricultural and environmental problems using scientific data and expertise.
The initial partners in AgriVIVO are now working with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and have initiated conversations with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), both of which are in the final stages of implementing VIVO in their information management systems. VIVO is a semantic-web research discovery tool initially developed by Cornell University and now become an Incubator project under the DuraSpace umbrella.
Discussions among these stakeholders and other international actors like CTA and INRA are in place on how to best implement a federated approach between different institutional, national and regional VIVOs or other similar databases and provide different point of access to these data