Agrisource is a project carried out by two French research organisations, INRA and CIRAD, and funded by the European Climate-KIC. The platform was officially launched on the 13th of December 2017.
Here are a few elements explaining its elaboration, its targets, and how it actually works.
What is the need?
Agricultural value chains are currently facing the huge challenge of climate change: a global warming, with multiple local consequences. They affect not only the way food is produced, but also how it is kept, transformed and consumed. In this context, operating transitions in agricultural circuits is not just a possibility; it has become a necessity (if not a fatality).
Many institutions and people are already taking action today, trying to solve the equation of our society’s resilience to a shifting climatic context. These actions are being undertaken on all scales, from the most global to the local, where players find solutions according to whatever information and knowledge they can access.
Access to information appears as a key feature for successful transitions. We identified a real need for both opening access to knowledge, and promoting a relevant and efficient sharing of experience between players, whether they are businesses, institutions, farmers, researchers, policy makers, citizens…
AGRISOURCE responds to this need.
What is Agrisource?
Agrisource is an open online platform for agriculture. Its content is providedby its worldwide community, and highlights all ideas, projects, innovation that in some way contribute to the achievement of two high stake objectives:
- Mitigating green-house gas (GHG) emissions
- Adapting to climate change
The information hosted on the website is very diverse, since it is provided not just by a few institutions, but by its entire community. Exploring Agrisource allows you to navigate at the crossroad of knowledge and network.
Since both climate change and agriculture are of a common interest to all societies worldwide, the community knows no boundaries : knowledge and experience sharing may come from anywhere to generate solutions.
Agrisource carries no label of any specific community of agricultural practices, since it is a place for shared experience and knowledge rather than opinion.
How does it work?
On Agrisource, farmers, businesses, research laboratories, governments, associations, think tanks… create pagesfor their own organisations, for the projects they contribute to, for the knowledge and experience they consider useful to share with the community. In order to do so, different types of pages are at their disposal:
The Player page belongs to one specific entity (institutions, business, farmer, research laboratory…) that contributes in some way to solving the problematics of climate change in agriculture. On one Player's page you should find a short description of the Player’s activity, its personal newsfeed, a contact form and its geolocation. You should also find what we call relational information : one Player should eventually specify its relations to other Players or Projects.
The Project profile is dedicated to any time-limited initiative that results in one or more Players leading specific actions. This could be a European research project, for instance, as well as a local initiative from farmers. The Project profile gives a specific insight, with its own newsfeed and information.
The Innovation profile is the heart of Agrisource as a source of open knowledge. Any Player/Project is entitled to create Innovation pages, dedicated to techniques, solutions, experiments, ideas from the agricultural community. Once the Innovation is created, the purpose is that more Players feel concerned about it, and may bind their profile to that Innovation. The established link means that one Player declares himself working on that specific Innovation.
Finally, users are able to upload Documents on Agrisource that also contribute to knowledge sharing. The Document is linked to the contributing Player(s) responsible for its conception. It also has a short description, and a possibility for rating from the Agrisource community.
Now why so many different pages? What is the point of creating these links?
Agrisource displays a major and unique feature that is relational mapping. Thanks to the links between profiles, the Agrisource engine is able to create a virtual map actually showing the networks of Players and Innovation.
Who works with who? Where can we meet on mutual interests? Where can I go and find the information I need? Who should I make contact with to develop my own project? Relational mapping is a powerful tool for efficiently answering those questions.
Agrisource also assumes a role of specialized social network, designed to share news, events and debates with the whole community.
Who made it?
The French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) leads this project. INRA is Europe’s top agricultural research institute and the world’s number two centre for the agricultural sciences. Its scientists are working towards solutions for society’s major challenges.
The French International Centre in Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD) has been INRA’s close partner in the technical realisation of Agrisource. CIRAD is a French agricultural research organization working for development in tropical regions and the French overseas regions. Its research work is generally conducted in partnership.
The platform is developed by the French startup eKoal. Their informatics expertise serves a particular interest for the mapping and animation of networks through collaboration.
Climate-KIC : Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on climate change, consisting of dynamic companies, the best academic institutions and the public sector. Climate-KIC is one of three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) created in 2010 by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). The EIT is an EU body whose mission is to create sustainable growth. Climate-KIC supports this mission by addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation. It integrates education, entrepreneurship and innovation resulting in connected, creative transformation of knowledge and ideas into economically viable products or services that help to mitigate climate change.
Who is it made for?
Agrisource integrates a view of agriculture that involves all organisations that bring added value to the production, transformation and consumption of agricultural services : farmers, advisors, representatives of the administration, cooperatives, businesses, associations, traders, researchers, distributors… and consumers.
As previously mentioned, Agrisource carries no label. It welcomes every community, organisation and shared personal experience that aims at improving the economic, social and environmental resilience of our food production systems worldwide.
We have designed Agrisource to be a public place of knowledge and network for all its contributors and visitors. However we have placed at the centre of our attention the importance of sharing knowledge that actually reaches the agriculture and food professionals: farmers and agricultural producers are the primary targets of Agrisource. Bringing the best information and resources directly to farmers, actually encouraging the transition to a more resilient agriculture for the future, is our main criteria for success. We kindly invite all contributors and visitors to keep that in mind when reading/ contributing/ commenting on Agrisource.
Agrisource is not made for illegal contents regarding countries’ legislations, nor for disrespect and insults of any kind. Any content of such sort that may appear on Agrisource should immediately be notified to the administration team, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the cost for contributors and visitors?
Contributing and seeking information on Agrisource costs no money.
The only cost that it demands is time. Time to produce a proper Page, time to share your innovation and solution with the community, time to index your projects and encourage your partners to join the process, time to communicate on your events and news.
The Agrisource team will put all its efforts to keep Agrisource a free-of-charge device, but its success directly depends on the efforts you, visitors and contributors, may set into action to enlarge the community.
Together, let’s make it work !