Assessment of agricultural information needs in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States for CTA’s Products and Services: Caribbean: Overview Regional Report
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Gumbs, Barbara. 2005. Assessment of agricultural information needs in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States for CTA’s Products and Services: Caribbean: Overview Regional Report. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52356
This study commissioned by CTA aims to identify agricultural information needs of key actors / beneficiaries for CTA products and services, potential actors ..and, to develop some baseline data to facilitate subsequent monitoring activities.
Findings Findings are grouped according to information needs, information management capacity and information sources. Information Needs All reports indicated that institutions encountered difficulties in obtaining nationally generated data and information. Information on markets, market trends, current information on trade and trade agreements were of importance to all countries and in particular those in which diversification is being driven by the decline in markets for sugar and bananas. Information on conferences, workshops trade fairs and commodity profiles was required across all institutions and countries. Three countries indicated that there was need for the adaptation and repackaging of information taking into account conditions in the local environment as well as the needs of target groups that include not only researchers, but also agribusiness executives, farmers and vulnerable groups in rural communities. Information Management Capacity Deficiencies information management capacity are due to the lack of or sub-optimal allocation of human, physical infrastructure and/or financial resources. Each report indicated that there were no information policies and/or strategies to guide institutional information management processes. In all countries there are institutions with some capability for information and communication management. However the required mix of equipment and trained human resources is lacking. Institutions also lack capacity for continuing development and maintenance of websites, resulting in little or no information exchange on their websites. Two countries pointed to the need for creating not only the demand for information but also the necessity for recognizing the importance of information in managing all facets of the economy. Information Sources Agricultural ministries were important sources of information for all respondents. Input suppliers were identified as another source of information. Several institutions with a specific commodity focus depended on national and regional producer organizations. Such organizations provided not only documentary information but also technical advice, and assistance in establishing extra-regional linkages. CARDI and IICA were also cited as important information sources. The Internet has become a popular source for identifying relevant information. While Internet use has certainly increased, many institutions cannot make full use of opportunities presented by ICTs due to lack of equipment and trained manpower. Therefore full exploitation of the benefits of electronic networking cannot be realised.