Sharpening those tools
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CTA. 2001. Sharpening those tools. Spore 91. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46094
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore91.pdf
In the field of agricultural policy networking, a high-level seminar was held in Entebbe, Uganda, from 6 to 10 November 2000 a training workshop on the PITA (priority information themes in agriculture) methodology held at CTA in November 2000 a tech
A good workman never blames his tools' so goes the old (gender-specific) saying. In the field of agricultural information for practitioners and policy makers, several tools under development at CTA are now almost ready for use. In the field of agricultural policy networking, a high-level seminar was held in Entebbe, Uganda, from 6 to 10 November 2000. The meeting, officially opened by the Ugandan Minister of Agriculture, Dr Kisamba-Mugerwa, was attended by 31 participants from all six ACP regions who represented a wide swathe of actors and stakeholders in agricultural policies: decision-makers, policy advisors, academics, researchers, statisticians, NGOs, farmers organisations, donors and information experts. With agricultural policy making being of concern at national and regional levels, the meeting studied papers on each region, plus national experiences from Tanzania and Antigua and Barbuda. With the management of information and communication (ICM) being essential for policy making, the meeting recommended support to improving ICM at both levels, and strengthening ICM capacities. An underlying component here is the exchange of information and experiences - in short, networking. Increased attention should be paid, it was felt, to making more information available on best practices in policy processes in ACP countries and elsewhere, including guidelines, methodologies and networking. The process of determining priority information themes in agriculture (PITA) at national level in all ACP countries will soon be aided by the publication of materials in printed, video and digital form (Website and CD-ROM). This follows a training workshop on the PITA methodology held at CTA in November 2000, where a team of seventeen trainers was set up, including a coordinator for each of the six ACP regions. The workshop was the penultimate stage of several years of painstaking preparations for the methodology, which aims to embrace the full circle of agricultural stakeholders in defining priority needs. With the development of market information systems (MIS) for small operators in the agricultural sectors of ACP countries being a key aspect of CTA s work in market-led development (itself one of the Centre s five current priority themes), a technical consultation was held at CTA in October 2000. Its task was to decide on best practice principles for an MIS, drawing on experiences with pilot projects in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda. Integration is the key. At local level, the emphasis is on local information as well as punctual feeds from other MIS. That local information should in turn be linked into national and regional systems. All in all, such structures will need alert and informed management, and well-selected and on-tap information topics to be covered in future consultations.