ICRISAT establishes a new tropical crops information service
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CTA. 1987. ICRISAT establishes a new tropical crops information service. Spore 11. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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The International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) based in India carries out research into what has been termed the 'hardest end of the research spectrum': rainfed farming in the semi-arid tropics. The objective is to...
The International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) based in India carries out research into what has been termed the 'hardest end of the research spectrum': rainfed farming in the semi-arid tropics. The objective is to improve the yield, stability and quality of five staple foods commonly found in such regions: sorghum, pearl millet, pigeonpea, chickpea and groundnut. ICRISAT is also committed to the parallel objective of finding systems that could produce higher output and more dependable results. Its capacity to provide information is considered important not just to keep its own scientists abreast of the latest developments but also to satisfy the information requirements of those who are working on its mandate crops in areas where such information is either non-existent or meagre. That explains why ICRISAT established the Sorghum and Millets Information Centre (SMIC) in 1976 as a specialized part of its Library and Documentation Services to collect, collate and disseminate information on sorghum and millets to research workers throughout the semiarid tropics. Financial support for this project was partially provided by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Canada. The information products and services provided by SMIC included comprehensive bibliographies, a Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI) service, a literature search service, an information analysis service, and a document delivery service. It also published a newsletter three times a year in English and French to update researchers working in areas with poor library facilities. A worldwide directory of researchers working on sorghum and millets was also compiled and distributed. An external review of ICRISAT's activities found that SMIC had contributed significantly to worldwide research on the two crops and recommended that its activities be expanded to cover all five of ICRISAT's mandate crops. This replacement project is known as the Semi-Arid Tropical Crops Information Service ( SATCRIS ). It is also funded partly by IDRC and has an initial duration of three vears. Apart from ICRISAT staff, the primary users of SATCRIS are scientists, academics and extension personnel working on the five mandate crops in national or regional institutions. The information products that are expected to be generated include: - monthly SDls to individual users all over the semi-arid tropics based on a carefully constructed and tailor-made user profile, - literature searches on demand, - abstract journals and annual bibliographies, in collaboration with CAB International, on all five mandate crops. CABI already produces the sorghum and millet abstracts and will produce two new abstract services: one for chickpeas and pigeonpeas and the other for groundnuts. - literature reviews and critical evaluations of literature on specific topics written by scientists. In selecting the topics, emphasis will be put on the usefulness of the repackaged information to researchers in Africa since this continent does not yet have the benefit of regular interaction with the expertise available at ICRISAT. A central resource for these products will be the SATCRIS machine readable database. This database will be compiled from locally generated bibliographic descriptions integrated with subsets from AGRIS and CABI databases. Apart from these services distributed from ICRISAT headquarters, an important goal is to establish a SATCRIS sub-centre at the ICRISAT Sahelian Centre (ISC) in Niamey, Niger. This sub-centre will provide document delivery services to researchers and handle other requests in francophone West Africa. Finally, a number of workshops in East Africa and the SADCC region are proposed in order to improve the local awareness of the resources and services available from SATCRIS. For more details, contact: SATCRIS/ICRISAT Patancheru P.O. Andhra Pradesh 602 324 India
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