ROME, 21 May 2002 -- The
Future Harvest Centres, a network of global food and
environmental research organizations, launched a new
online search tool in Rome on Tuesday aimed at
revolutionizing the way external users access its wealth
of specialized agricultural and development information.
The Info Finder will allow users to
intelligently search the rich reserves of online material
produced by Future Harvest Centres around the globe and system
of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
(CGIAR), as well as that of the World Agricultural Information
Centre (WAICENT) operated by the UN Food and Agriculture
Organization (FAO), by linking information to a single network.
"Availability of agricultural
information is growing massively on the Internet," says
Francisco Reifschneider, the director of the CGIAR, which funds
and supports the Future Harvest Centres. "Users will
quickly see the benefit of the Info Finder because it helps
rapid access to the wealth of the agricultural knowledge
generated by the Future Harvest Centres."
Available at http://infofinder.cgiar.org, the Info
Finder is a collaborative effort between FAO's WAICENT, the
Future Harvest Centers and CGIAR. It is partly based on
FAO's own in-house technologies, which search for online
information catalogued using common standards such as keywords
from the widely used Agrovoc agricultural thesaurus.
"Embracing partners to extend the scope,
impact and sustainability of agricultural information management
systems is one of FAO's chief mandates," says
WAICENT Manager Francisco Perez-Trejo. "The Info Finder
project has built a strong relationship between the two
organizations and we hope that this sense of partnership will be
replicated with other institutions in the future."
Created in 1971, the CGIAR is a leading
development partnership supporting a knowledge network of 16
Future Harvest Centres that mobilize science and generate new
agricultural technologies specifically adapted to the crop,
ecology, and development needs of poor farmers and helps
strengthen national agricultural institutions in developing