It is crucial to break the isolation of rural populations, particularly women, by enabling their access to information and to communicate their needs in ensuring household food security and enhancing rural development. Innovative approaches to knowledge and information sharing enable them to develop self-confidence, economic empowerment and leadership, and provide the means to make informed choices to improve their livelihoods. At the same time, institutions providing services and support to rural communities need to be better capacitated to meet the community’s needs, and to make timely, well-informed policy decisions.
Rural livelihoods can be readily improved through development activities that are informed by models of knowledge sharing networks using multi-disciplinary, participatory and gender-sensitive approaches, as well as models and frameworks for policies and practices, that have been derived from field-based experiences. Sharing these models and good practices with other countries and regions will enable their adaptation at a larger scale. Within these scenarios, the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is proposed when and where appropriate, with an emphasis on the development and sharing of locally-generated content by rural populations and institutions
e-Agriculture is a global community of practice to enhance the use of information, communication, and associated technologies (ICT) for sustainable agricultural development and food security. The community enables members to exchange opinions, experiences, good practices and resources related to bridging the rural digital divide, and to ensure that the knowledge created is effectively shared and used worldwide.
The Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development (CIARD) initiative is working to make agricultural research information publicly available and accessible to all. This means working with organizations that hold information or that create new knowledge – to help them disseminate it more efficiently and make it easier to access. CIARD highlights the need to respect the roles of national, regional and international institutions. The aim is to help them align their efforts to develop better connected information collections and services. Aligning local efforts in different countries in this way means that they will have a global impact, changing the way that knowledge changes hands and is used worldwide.
Taking advantages of field experience, FAO systematizes (capitalizes) the experiences and lessons learned from projects and programmes to develop good practices, and the capacities of its partners to collect, archive, share with others and apply these in other contexts. This is done using people-centred approaches and knowledge sharing methodologies, with particular attention to gender issues. The pilot programme “Knowledge Management and Gender” is underway in Africa.
The VERCON conceptual model aims to enhance interaction among research, extension, farmers and other stakeholders, to improve innovation for agricultural development. Based in a firm belief that ICTs should benefit everyone, these interventions focus on the human factor (institutions and individuals), as well as working with new and established information and communication systems. Efforts typically involve a range of partners and institutions, such as policy makers, agricultural research and extension, farmers’ organizations, NGOs/CSOs, and the private sector including media services.
AGRIS is a global public domain database on agricultural science and technology with nearly 3 million structured bibliographic records. The database is maintained by FAO, with the content provided by more than 100 participating institutions from 65 countries. AGRIS can be searched using the keywords from the AGROVOC thesaurus, as well as using specific journal titles or names of countries institutions or authors.
Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture (AGORA) is a programme to provide free or low cost access to major scientific journals in agriculture and related biological, environmental and social sciences to public institutions in developing countries. AGORA provides access to more than 2,000 journals from the world's leading academic publishers. Led by the FAO, the goal of AGORA is to improve the quality and effectiveness of agricultural research, education and training in low-income countries and, in turn, to improve food security.