Regional programme strengthened
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CTA. 2001. Regional programme strengthened. Spore 92. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46154
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore92.pdf
Following on a workshop of its partners held in August 2000, the Southern African Centre for Cooperation in Agricultural Research and Training (SACCAR) has embarked upon a Regional Information Project (RIP). The RIP will be one of the four specific...
Following on a workshop of its partners held in August 2000, the Southern African Centre for Cooperation in Agricultural Research and Training (SACCAR) has embarked upon a Regional Information Project (RIP). The RIP will be one of the four specific goals for SACCAR to focus upon in its current five-year plan. The workshop, held in Gaborone, Botswana, gathered specialists from Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as the host country. The project will address five major bottlenecks to the smooth operation of its information activities. The major constraint, identified during an earlier study, is the poor recognition of the value of information and communication, and related inadequacies in local networking at national and regional levels. This has resulted in a poor dissemination of information with the national partner networks of SACCAR. Other constraints have included poor physical resources and infrastructure, in particular the lack of modern equipment and facilities for rapid processing of information; a lack of sufficient skills in information technology and communication; poorly organised information resources and inadequate means to sustain even conventional services. The RIP will therefore develop and establish an interactive information system, aimed at strengthening operational capacity, as well as addressing issues of training, provision of equipment and facilitating the foundations of a regional communications system. Some activities will be supported by CTA, especially in the realms of training in electronic communication and publishing, traditional publishing and networking, and exposure to the experiences of similar initiatives in other regions. [caption to illustration] Farmers delighted with price information Dr M Mukhebi of Kenya Agricultural Commodity Exchange shows the way to a new regional service point in Bungoma, Western Kenya, where farmers can get instant market information, and deal online