CTA opens regional offices in the Carribean and the Pacific
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CTA. 1987. CTA opens regional offices in the Carribean and the Pacific. Spore 12. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/44745
The main objective of CTA is to improve access to agricultural information for people working in ACP countries. During its first few years of existence, CTA established links with the major information sources in this field and became involved in a...
The main objective of CTA is to improve access to agricultural information for people working in ACP countries. During its first few years of existence, CTA established links with the major information sources in this field and became involved in a number of activities that helped to make it better known among potential users. Among other things, this resulted in requests for information and support for local documentation services, for which a Question and Answer Service was established. To date, all of these activities have been based at its small office in the Netherlands. The time has now come to intensify and strengthen its links with existing institutions in ACP countries that are also involved in documentation, training, research and extension work focussed on agriculture and rural development. In this way, CTA hopes to adapt its activities to the specific needs of its client countries and to improve the dissemination of information through existing networks. This explains the recent establishment of two regional CTA offices through the creation of special working relations with CARDI in the Caribbean and IRETA in the Pacific. The Institute for Research, Extension and Training in Agriculture (IRETA) is based in Apia, Western Samoa. This institute will also ensure close contact with the government of Papua New Guinea in order to involve this country in the regional network. The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) is based in Trinidad and will also maintain contact with Suriname and the Bahamas for the Caribbean network. Without going into detail, the role of these regional offices can be described as follows: to identify the documentation and information systems that exist at the regional and national levels and to establish contacts with them in order to determine the obstacles that they face in disseminating information, to inform CTA of regional problems in agricultural development so that it can adapt its programmes accordingly; to keep CTA abreast of the results of research and development programmes undertaken in the region; to provide CTA with the addresses of all organizations interested in receiving its publications, notably SPORE; to maintain contact with officials of relevant local and national organizations in order to inform them of CTA activities and services; to help distribute CTA publications; to encourage the participation of local experts in its publication programmes; and, to help coordinate CTA activities in the region, particularly local meetings and conferences. These first regional offices were established in the Caribbean and Pacific because of the existence in these areas of typically regional organizations that have already been developed to work with the large number of small, similar countries involved. This is far from being the case in Africa where countries differ considerably in geography, size, economy, population and social development (notably in terms of organizational and institutional development). They each have their own specific problems and priorities which are difficult to deal with other than on a one-to-one basis. There are two approaches that can be taken in this regard: regional and national. The objective remains the same in either case, i.e., establishing close contacts with existing organizations in each country. While this implies a national approach, it must be remembered that there are 45 African countries involved in the Lome Convention and there is a limit to the amount of time and money that can be invested. This explains why the regional approach appears to be the most appropriate, at least to begin with. In this regard, a study is currently being done to determine the best way to work with existing organizations in the dissemination of scientific and technical information. This is being done at the request of CTA's Advisory Committee and will contribute to the evaluation of CTA's role in preparation for the next Lome Convention CARDI University Campus St. Augustine Trinidad West Indies IRETA USP/SOA Private Bag Apia Western Samoa