Since the early 1980's, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has coordinated AGROVOC, a valuable tool for data to be classified homogeneously, facilitating interoperability and reuse. AGROVOC is a multilingual and controlled vocabulary designed to cover concepts and terminology under FAO's areas of interest. It is the largest Linked Open Data set about agriculture available for public use and its highest impact is through facilitating the access and visibility of data across domains and languages.
First published to describe documents and other information resources for indexing and searching, AGROVOC has moved from print catalogues to semantic web technologies. AGROVOC is now online and linked to other multilingual knowledge organization systems, building bridges between datasets.
AGROVOC provides a way to organize knowledge for subsequent data retrieval. It is a structured collection of concepts, terms, definitions and relationships. Concepts represent anything in food and agriculture, such as maize, hunger, aquaculture, value chains or forestry. These concepts are used to unambiguously identify resources, allowing standardized indexing processes, making searching more efficient. Each concept in AGROVOC also has terms used to express it in various languages, so called lexicalizations. Today, AGROVOC consists of +37,500 concepts and +750,000 terms in up to 40 languages. AGROVOC is the largest thesaurus published as linked open data about food and agriculture available for public use.