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i-Bulletin 7

i-Bulletin 7

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Published by CaRAPN

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Published by: CaRAPN on Aug 04, 2009
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05/11/2014

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 promoting a wider appreciation of information and knowledgemanagement for agriculturaldevelopmentgenerally and specifically,support for theIICA/CTA MEAgrISys project.
#7 of 2008
 
a collaborativeeffort of:Naitram RamnananCaRAPN memberand:Diana Francis
Trade Policies andNegotiations ProgrammeIICA Caribbean Region
enabled by:Technical Centrefor Agricultural andRural Cooperation(CTA –ACP)
The Views expressedherein are not necessarilythose of the CTA and IICA
 in in in information + knowledge formation + knowledge formation + knowledge formation + knowledge ++++
 partnerships = partnerships = partnerships = partnerships = practical actions and p practical actions and p practical actions and p practical actions and positive ositive ositive ositive results! results! results! results!
Over the years, marketing agencies and produceboards in the Caribbean participate ininternational trade fairs to promote Caribbeanfresh and processed agricultural products.
Thishas made the Caribbean brand synonymous with flavourand taste, and Caribbean food products are in highdemand. These trade shows are also meant to stimulatebusiness by putting buyers in direct contact with suppliers.However, when buyers place their orders, oftentimes, bythe container-load, oftentimes we find that our suppliersare only able to manage one or two shipments.There is just not enough supply!Our production cannot keep up with both local andinternational demands. We have been called 'nations thatproduce samples'. We are failing to capitalize on theCaribbean label. Our competitors appear to be better atproducing to fill the market, consistently, than we are. Forexample, Costa Rica has developed a significant businessand trade in organic banana grown in their "Caribbean"coast, which conditions similar to CARCIOM Caribbeancountries. Information has played an important role indefining market opportunities and translating that information to the farmers, interms of tech packs, packaging and distribution. They have built a new valuechain around bananas, focusing on organic baby foods and organic vinegar.Many CARICOM countries have acres and acres of bananas, and while the FairTrade label has grown significantly from when it started, bananas are still beingtraded in its original form - as fresh bananas.
 
Agriculture in CARICOM has yet to tap into the immense potential that exists forfresh, processed and other non-food products and services. On the freshproduce, there is a rich history and traditional knowledge in root crops that hasremained relatively under-developed. Hot peppers and pumpkin cannot satisfyinternational demand; demand for tropical fruits, vegetables and flowers isgrowing, but CARICOM producers fail to consistently supply a range of tropicalfruits and vegetables to export markets. Processors also complain that sourcinglocal/regional raw material is uncompetitive and unreliable.
 
 
Pg.2
 The more successful agri-enterprises, such as, poultry, pork, hybrid vegetables, are all produced from almost100% imported inputs. Processed products are also being 'manufactured' largely on imported raw materialcontent. In spite of the fact that there are several micro and small jams and jellies processors in almost allCARICOM countries, we import more jams and jellies than we produce. The same goes for fruit juices. Thissituation is no different in respect to livestock subsector: Bufalypso, Barbados black belly sheep and the Jamaican red hope have not attained their full potential, while we cannot meet the demand for the smallruminants.The ability to meeting a demand for any product, whether for an agriculture freshproduce, cosmetic, or medicine, depends on information. Since it is being said that we live in amarket-driven world, information is the base of sifting out opportunities and making decisions tocapitalize on them. Information It is now well accepted that unimpeded information and knowledgeflows are prerequisite to better technologies, management and organization systems that makeproduction systems and economies more competitive. As the example, i-bulletin #1 or 2007, aptlydemonstrated that the dasheen farmer has a need for small scale machinery for tillage, fertilization and pestcontrol operations. But after several decades of ineffective agricultural knowledge and information systemdevelopment in agriculture, this farmer's technological needs are unmet.
For agriculture in CARICOM tap into the emerging opportunities for fresh, processed and other non-food products and services, an effective, integrated and participatory information system is a must.
The 6 previous
i
-bulletins all focused on a specific link in the value chain in an effort to demonstrate theimportance of information in effective decision-making to business success, and as well the possible goodinfluence that effective decisions in one part of the value chain can have on the other parts.
 TTTTTTTThhhhhhhheeeeeeeerrrrrrrriiiiiiiigggggggghhhhhhhhttttttttIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNFFFFFFFFOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRMMMMMMMMAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOONNNNNNNN,,,,,,,,pppppppprrrrrrrroooooooovvvvvvvviiiiiiiiddddddddeeeeeeeeddddddddJ JJ J J JJ JUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTT--------IIIIIIIINNNNNNNN--------TTTTTTTTIIIIIIIIMMMMMMMMEEEEEEEEaaaaaaaannnnnnnnddddddddUUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSEEEEEEEEDDDDDDDDbbbbbbbbyyyyyyyytttttttthhhhhhhheeeeeeeerrrrrrrriiiiiiiigggggggghhhhhhhhttttttttPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPPLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEE,,,,,,,,iiiiiiiissssssss ccccccccrrrrrrrriiiiiiiittttttttiiiiiiiiccccccccaaaaaaaallllllllttttttttooooooooeeeeeeeennnnnnnnaaaaaaaabbbbbbbblllllllliiiiiiiinnnnnnnnggggggggtttttttthhhhhhhheeeeeeeepppppppprrrrrrrriiiiiiiivvvvvvvvaaaaaaaatttttttteeeeeeeesssssssseeeeeeeeccccccccttttttttoooooooorrrrrrrr,,,,,,,,iiiiiiiinnnnnnnncccccccclllllllluuuuuuuuddddddddiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnggggggggffaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrssssssss,,,,,,,,ttttttttoooooooottttttttaaaaaaaakkkkkkkkeeeeeeeepppppppprrrrrrrraaaaaaaaccccccccttttttttiiiiiiiiccccccccaaaaaaaallllllllAAAAAAAACCCCCCCCTTTTTTTTIIIIIIIIOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNSSSSSSSS ttttttttoooooooommmmmmmmaaaaaaaannnnnnnnaaaaaaaaggggggggeeeeeeeepppppppprrrrrrrroooooooodddddddduuuuuuuuccccccccttttttttiiiiiiiioooooooonnnnnnnnsssssssscccccccchhhhhhhheeeeeeeedddddddduuuuuuuulllllllleeeeeeeessssssssaaaaaaaannnnnnnnddddddddmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaakkkkkkkkeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllliiiiiiiiaaaaaaaannnnnnnncccccccceeeeeeeesssssssswwwwwwwwiiiiiiiitttttttthhhhhhhhooooooootttttttthhhhhhhheeeeeeeerrrrrrrrpppppppprrrrrrrroooooooodddddddduuuuuuuucccccccceeeeeeeerrrrrrrrssssssssttttttttoooooooommmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetttttttt mmmmmmmmaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrkkkkkkkkeeeeeeeettttttttddddddddeeeeeeeemmmmmmmmaaaaaaaannnnnnnnddddddddssssssssiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnaaaaaaaarrrrrrrreeeeeeeelllllllliiiiiiiiaaaaaaaabbbbbbbblllllllleeeeeeeemmmmmmmmaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeerrrrrrrr........ 
Making information work for agriculture
willenhance the knowledge base for decision making and leadto practical actions and consequently positive results. Thisis essential in modern agriculture. Agricultural informationsystems need to be built to meet the ‘real’ informationneeds of decision makers, to foster ‘true’ partnershipsamong participants for the system to work, and to feedback ‘credible’ information to stakeholders, intheir own language and at the time they need it. Several public (including Ministries of Agriculture) andprivate sector organizations (including commodity industries) are exploring ways to strengthen theirinformation and knowledge management systems as a major factor in either achieving an/or enhancingcompetitive advantage. An integrated approach is central to this process.
ThisThisThisThis
i
----bulletibulletibulletibulletin issue features a comprehensive system addresses the Agricultural Knowledge andn issue features a comprehensive system addresses the Agricultural Knowledge andn issue features a comprehensive system addresses the Agricultural Knowledge andn issue features a comprehensive system addresses the Agricultural Knowledge andInformation System (AKIS)Information System (AKIS)Information System (AKIS)Information System (AKIS)
as a new concept and analytical tool in examining how we address the problemsthat are confronting us and leading to the general decline in agriculture
 
.
IInnoorrmmaattiioonn 
aannddtthhee AAggrriiccuullttuurraall
 
DDeevveellooppmmeenntt 
AAggeennddaa--TThheeBBiiggggeerrPPiiccttuurree!!
 
 
 
Pg.3
 
ExplainingExplainingExplainingExplaining AKISAKISAKISAKIS
 
An Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS) compriseAn Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS) compriseAn Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS) compriseAn Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS) comprisessss the institutions andthe institutions andthe institutions andthe institutions andindividualsindividualsindividualsindividuals,,,, and identif and identif and identif and identifiesiesiesies the knowledge, experiences and information they possess tothe knowledge, experiences and information they possess tothe knowledge, experiences and information they possess tothe knowledge, experiences and information they possess tosupportsupportsupportsupport decision making in all link of the agriculture valuedecision making in all link of the agriculture valuedecision making in all link of the agriculture valuedecision making in all link of the agriculture value chain, from farm to market.chain, from farm to market.chain, from farm to market.chain, from farm to market.
AKISAKISAKISAKIS:::: the set of organisthe set of organisthe set of organisthe set of organisaaaations and/or personstions and/or personstions and/or personstions and/or persons and the links and interactions between them thatand the links and interactions between them thatand the links and interactions between them thatand the links and interactions between them thatare engaged in, or manage such processes as the anticipation, generation, transformation,are engaged in, or manage such processes as the anticipation, generation, transformation,are engaged in, or manage such processes as the anticipation, generation, transformation,are engaged in, or manage such processes as the anticipation, generation, transformation,transmission, storage, retrieval, integratransmission, storage, retrieval, integratransmission, storage, retrieval, integratransmission, storage, retrieval, integration, diffusion and utilization of agricultural knowledgetion, diffusion and utilization of agricultural knowledgetion, diffusion and utilization of agricultural knowledgetion, diffusion and utilization of agricultural knowledgeand information, whand information, whand information, whand information, which potentially work synergicallich potentially work synergicallich potentially work synergicallich potentially work synergically to support dy to support dy to support dy to support decision making, problemecision making, problemecision making, problemecision making, problemsolvingsolvingsolvingsolving and innovation in agriculture or a domain thereof.and innovation in agriculture or a domain thereof.and innovation in agriculture or a domain thereof.and innovation in agriculture or a domain thereof.
1111
 This approach makes a concerted effort to understand and improve existing configurations of agriculturalinstitutions and design better ones. It came about largely to address the situation where agriculturaldevelopers, planners and policy makers were inclined, partly for reason of institutional politics, to viewfarming systems, extension, development of agricultural technologies, research and policy making as separatespheres, each with their own set of issues, managed by groups of researchers and professionals who overlaponly marginally.
The AKIS cThe AKIS cThe AKIS cThe AKIS concept represents a shiftoncept represents a shiftoncept represents a shiftoncept represents a shift and visualizesand visualizesand visualizesand visualizes major players of anmajor players of anmajor players of anmajor players of anagricultural system asagricultural system asagricultural system asagricultural system as aaaa closely integrated and linked systemclosely integrated and linked systemclosely integrated and linked systemclosely integrated and linked system
. This represents both a historical andconceptual progression from treating various institutions and practices, such as, Farming SystemsDevelopment, Extension, and Research, individually, as opposed to parts of a whole, where decisions taken inone area, affects outcomes in another within a system. A systemic approach demands that we treat with allelements as an agricultural knowledge and information system. The Caribbean needs to advance along thispath to achieve integrated and sustainable development in agriculture and rural communities.Examining the knowledge generation processes in successful multinational companies, public serviceorganizations, among others, strongly supports the notion that knowledge processes can be effectivelymanaged through an AKIS. Using AKIS as a base can assist in identifying opportunities to enhance the way keystakeholders are organised in the existing network of players for the purpose of knowledge generation andinformation exchange. It can also contribute to enhancing awareness of the process of agricultural innovationand information exchange. If well developed, an AKIS can also support the identification of ways to create this‘elusive’ enabling environment by allowing for the “bigger picture to be clearly visible”. This will in turnengender greater commitment and collaboration among actors who may then be more inclined to removethese constraints or contribute to an improvement in the system’s performance. AKIS provides the mechanismfor the two-way flow of information and knowledge to facilitate the development of policies, technologies andother elements that can have positive impacts on agricultural development.The typical information environment in the Caribbean can best be described as comprising pockets of information ‘systems’, that in many instances, have little or no linkages between them or to other systems. Forexample, a pocket of information may exist for livestock, with further sub-systems for the various types of livestock produced, such as, dairy, beef, small ruminants, pork, poultry, rabbits, aquaculture and other typesof livestock. The Ministry of Agriculture, Research Institutions, Development and other service organizations
1
Roling, N. and P. G.H. Engel (1991) *The development of the concept of agricultural knowledge and information systems (AKIS):Implications for extension”. In W.M. Rivera and D.J. Gustafson (eds) Agricultural Extension: Worldwide institutional and evolution andforces for change. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
 

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