The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) is challenging Agric institutions to make results of research they conduct more accessible to other stakeholders in the Agric sector, policymakers and the public.
The organisation has been meeting various players in the Agric sector to discuss potential mechanisms for improving access to agricultural data.
The meetings are aimed at helping increase information and knowledge sharing through open data, and open access initiatives.
This, the FAO notes will be crucial in enhancing the contribution of such research institutions to food security and good nutrition in Ghana.
“In an era of information and knowledge revolution, facilitated by breakthrough in digital technology, we must adopt innovative solutions, including accessing open data, in order to advance transformation agenda of agriculture and the rural economy,” the FAO Representative to Ghana and Deputy Regional Representative for Africa, Dr Abebe Haile Gabriel, said at the opening session of the meeting.
Research institutions have often raised concerns about the lack of application of recommendations of studies they conduct to help increase Agric productivity.
The debate over whether this is the fault of policy makers or researchers remain to be settled. But the FAO insists there is the urgent need for Agric research institutions to make data they gather easily assessable.
“Easy access and availability to agriculture and rural development related data, knowledge and technologies contribute to enhancing rural livelihoods, food security and nutrition status,” Dr. Haile explained.
He said the FAO is of the firm belief that success in agricultural and rural
development depends on individual actions of millions of rural family farmers, whose decisions are shaped by the information, knowledge and technologies available to them.
He noted the need to make research data available to them for the improvement of production.
Director-General for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Dr Victor Kwame Agyeman admitted that not all the results of research undertaken by his outfit are easily available and accessible.
He indicated the CSIR would soon adopt an Open Access Policy to improve the situation.
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