More than 350 IGAD Members Participate in RDA/IGAD Week-Long Virtual Meeting

At the most recent IGAD Online Virtual Meeting (25 to 28 May 2020), more than 350 IGAD members participated in a series of sessions dedicated to IGAD/RDA : Sharing Experiences and Creating Digital Dialogues. There was a special focus on semantics, crop data interoperability and experiences and lessons learnt from Asia, Europe, Africa and Americas, producing many interesting results and interactions. 

Throughout the week-long virtual meeting there were 21 different presentations during six sessions, with 30 different presenters, representing more than 14 different countries. This virtual meeting provided an online platform bringing together IGAD members from all over the world, to continue to build upon collaborations, knowledge sharing and developing innovations.

On Monday, 25 May Dr. Andy Jarvis, Associate Director General of the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT (a CGIAR Center), based in Cali, Colombia delivered a keynote speech to kick-off the week-long event. Dr. Jarvis discussed moving agricultural research into the digital era requires novel infrastructure, tools and collaborations with data scientists to realize the benefits of data sharing and reuse. 

On Tuesday, 26 May there was a group of presentations surrounding the topic of  Semantics with several different presentations focusing on:

  • Building global infrastructure for interoperability across the agriculture industry: AgGateway and its Agrisemantics Working Group

  • Adopting FAIR data principles for long-term agricultural experiments data

  • AgroPortal: a vocabulary and ontology repository for agronomy

  • AGROVOC: Multischeme, multihierarchy and thesaurus management

On Wednesday,  27 May  there was a group of presentations from Europe/Asia  with several different presentations focusing on:

  • Obtaining agro-hydrological datasets in the marginal drylands of Jordan: two-sided lesson shared by scientists and farmers

  • Kampala INSPIRE Hackathon: an example of Capacity Development for Agriculture

  • The Practice of agricultural information resources construction in Beijing

  • The BonaRes Repository: Recent developments in quality assurance and citation strategies of diverse agricultural research data

  • Is there a relationship between data collection, data curation and data sharing? Experiences from a restoration project in East Africa and the Sahel

On Wednesday, 27 May there was also a group of presentations from the Americas/Asia  with several different presentations focusing on:

  • Partnership for Data Innovations for Enhanced Data Interoperability and Leveraging of USDA - Agricultural Research Service Resources

  • Lessons Learned from the Massive Open Online Courses on Farm Data Management

  • Visible mechanisms to manage “invisible hand”: Dialogues to unite expectations, interests and need for open data platform in Central Asia

  • Caliper – Statistical Classifications in an Open Linked World

  • Data Consistency, Exchange and Interoperability with Tripal v3 -- a platform for genomics, genetics and breeding community databases

On Thursday, 28 May there was a group of presentations from Africa  with several different presentations focusing on:

  • Research Data in Climate Change Adaptation/Mitigation Strategies and Agricultural Innovation System in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

  • Impact of Poor Data Collection and Handling in Agricultural value chain in Ethiopia

  • Research, data sharing and the Nigerian agricultural development

  • Sensitization of Agricultural Stakeholders on the Need and Benefits of Data for Equal Development: Open Data Day - Experience from Nigeria

On Thursday, 28 May Françoise Genova, RDA Technical Advisory Board and Medha Devare, CGIAR participated in the closing keynote session along with the IGAD Co-Chairs to discuss the proposal to create a new working group within the IGAD umbrella dedicated to Crop Data Interoperability and the next activities within IGAD. 

Presentations will be posted on the Open Knowledge in Agricultural Development  channel hosted on F1000Research – a platform for authors to share their original research findings, initiatives, case studies, perspectives and opinions relating to open knowledge initiatives within all areas in the context of agriculture, agri-food and agro-biodiversity.

About IGAD

One of IGAD’s main roles is to serve as a platform that leads to the creation of domain-specific Working Groups. To date, successful Working Groups (WGs) have been formed under IGAD, these are: Wheat Data Interoperability, Rice Data Interoperability, AgriSemantics and Capacity Development for Agricultural Data WGs. The groups play a key role in delivering Research Data Alliance’s (RDA) recommendations and good practices with regard to Agricultural Data Interoperability. Formed in 2013, since its inception the Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) has grown in community strength to over 250 members, becoming one of the RDA’s most prominent Thematic Groups.

Co-chairs of the Interest Group on Agriculture Data (IGAD), for the IGAD Task Force 2020:

  • Patricia Rocha Bello Bertin (EMBRAPA, Brazil)
  • Cynthia Parr (National Agricultural Library. USDA Agricultural Research Service, US)
  • Imma Subirats Coll (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Italy)