Archive for May, 2010

Crop Genebank Knowledge Base disseminated in Colombia

The Knowledge Sharing Fair for Latin America and Caribbean ( is happening this week in Cali, Colombia, hosted by CIAT. An event with 200 participants from 18 countries and 70 organizations, in the fields of agricultural research, development and food security, mostly including Spanish speakers from the Latin America and the Caribbean. Agricultural research institutes, rural developing organizations, Universities and communicators were the main representatives. Parallel sessions about knowledge sharing tools and methods are the highlights of this fair. Informal discussions and booths with various dissemination materials provide a diversity of tools for every taste.

The Crop Genebank Knowledge Base was presented in the SGRP booth yesterday, as one of the Knowledge Sharing tools used in the Global Public Goods project and many participants showed great interest. Some liked to know about the challenges we faced and solutions found. Others wanted to know about how to engage the users and contributors over time. One was interested on the tricks and secrets of success…

Several CDs of the website were distributed as well as leaflets and bookmarks with the URL of the site.

During the oral presentation of the chalenges and relevant learnings of the project, some interesting and common problems shared in the various presentations were:

  • The technologies are easy to dealt with; getting contributors to contribute is often a challenge.
  • It is important to document how the websites and databases were developed and structured so that continuity is assures.
  • Sustainability and updates after projects finish should be planned and is a common problem.

This was the perfect venue to disseminate a website that will be translated soon into Spanish (watch our blog in the next few days to know more about this and other improvements happening soon)!

It was also a great opportunity to visit the CIAT genebank and strenghtening collaboration to improve this website!


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Crop Genebank Knowledge Base presented at the IAALD congress (France)

From the 26th to the 29th of April the International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists (IAALD) organized their 13th world congress in Montpellier, France. This year’s theme was “Scientific and Technical Information and Rural Development: Highlights of Innovative Practices” and was attended by around 300 people coming from more than 50 countries.

Group photo IAALD 2010

The CGKB team used this event to show and promote the CGKB website to  colleagues and professionals in agriculture and communication business. A collective paper was written by some of the main contributors (about 20) of the CGKB site describing its content and how it was developed. This paper was presented as an oral paper during the plenary session on ‘Integrated information systems’. Thank you GC for a job well done!

The presentation was well-received by the audience. One participant asked the following (key!) question: Now that you have gotten this far how are you going to engage other genebank professionals around the world and ensure that the tool is sustainable in the future?

I believe that this is an important issue that requires our attention. If the CGKB is to be maintained and expanded then the site needs to be supported not just by a small team but by the entire genebank community!

It is then up to all of us to take collective ownership and responsibility and keep this site not only alive but healthy and growing!

More information on the IAALD Congress can be found here. (

The presentation on the CGKB can be downloaded here. (

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