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Call for Contributions to IGAD Third Annual Virtual Meeting 2023

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    Cynthia Parr

    Improving Global Agricultural Data (IGAD) Community of Practice
    Third Annual Virtual Meeting 2023 
    21 June to 27 June 2023
    Call for Contributions
    The co-chairs of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) Improving Global Agricultural Data Community of Practice are thrilled to host our third annual meeting between June 21 and June 27, 2023. The meeting will be held virtually at various times to allow members and interested attendees from all over the world to participate. 
    This annual meeting will allow us to share and learn about global practices and better impact stakeholders via improved data systems. It will also increase opportunities to form partnerships on specific projects.
    The 2023 virtual meeting will include panel sessions, group discussions and contributed presentations distributed between 21 and 27 June 2023. The complete agenda will be announced later.

    Call for community contributions
    The success of the virtual meeting depends on collaboration with the IGAD community. For those interested in actively contributing with a presentation or panel session, please submit your title,  speakers’ short bio and a brief abstract of your contribution before May 19. Contributions from people and organizations that have implemented IGAD/RDA recommendations in food and agricultural data projects and initiatives are preferred. Discussions can involve both policy and technical aspects. We also encourage submissions to discuss possible new Working Groups. 
    Those not selected may have the opportunity to present in an IGAD Coffee Break webinar series to be organized  after the annual virtual meeting.
    For any questions, please contact us at
    This year we would like to particularly highlight the following topics:

     Ethical and legal issues around agricultural data to be organized by Valeria Pesce (Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation, GFAR)

    Agricultural data flows involve different actors from generation to transformation, enrichment, aggregation and final fruition. These dynamics have ethical, socio-economic, and legal dimensions that affect the way the digitalization of agriculture benefits the various actors, often leaving the least resourced behind. In this session we invite presentations on such ethical and legal issues, experiences in dealing with them and possibly successful ways of addressing them.  Examples of relevant topics are: data ownership, data reuse, control on data down the line, data asymmetries in value chains, customer lock-in, biased data, unfair data practices, business sensitive data, codes of conduct, smart contracts, trusted platforms / data cooperatives, data monetization/marketplaces, private sector data of public interest, pre-competitive spaces, data as a public good.

    Data and Agrisemantics Crosswalks and Ontologies to be organized by Piotr Zaborowski (OGC)

    The heterogeneity of the agriculture data ecosystem has already been a driver of the IGAD working groups’ work on the semantics, vocabularies and ontologies that would help unambiguously understand data. Best practices and guidance enabled some harmonization of efforts and directions. Now with some ontologies defined, both domain overlaps in definitions and gaps are observed. High-performance computing and AI promise new benefits of semantically enabled data, but also new requirements are identified that require both traversals and cross-domain representations. The session encourages ideas and lessons learned exchange on topics like data and metadata crosswalks, ontologies for general agriculture, ontologies and vocabularies of subdomains (soils, EV, etc.), generic data description (lineage, training ML, etc.), semantically enabled data processing.

    Agricultural Supply Chain and Labor Data to be organized by TBA

    IGAD members recently expressed interest in prioritizing discussion around agricultural supply chains, as well as labor and skills availability in local markets, and data that can be used to support environmental and sustainability claims. Examples of relevant areas of work to share in this session include Life Cycle Assessment, agricultural statistics, and work to assess, forecast, and mitigate disruptions to supply chains and labor due to threats such as pandemics and climate change.

    Agrobiodiversity Data Standards  to be organized by Debora Drucker (Embrapa) 

    The diversity of organisms that directly or indirectly support agriculture and food production is crucial for sustainable agriculture. Although there are many initiatives for standardizing agrobiodiversity data, they are usually restricted to the specific communities in which they were developed. We invite agrobiodiversity use cases of good practices on data handling and standard adoption, including (but not limited to) FAIR principles compliance initiatives.

    Open Agricultural Data for Machine Learning Training  to be organized by Cynthia Parr (USDA)

    Recent advances in artificial intelligence techniques such as deep learning provide both opportunities and challenges for agricultural informatics. While computational power has grown and applications abound in precision agriculture and decision support and others, machine learning requires high quality, unbiased training data that can be expensive and time-consuming to produce. Presentations will open discussion about methods for and experiences in generating and sharing large amounts of useful training data publicly and effectively. Relevant work might include image annotation, synthetic data, repositories for training data, and curation of associated metadata and source code.

    Sharing Experiences and Creating Digital Dialogues in Eastern Europe to be organized by Marina Razmadze (TECHINFORMI) and Viorica Lupu (Technical University of Moldova)

    This session will collect presentations that refer to experiences on research data management, open data and open science in Eastern Europe. The topics will include all those defined in the list of topics above, but also include experiences in the context of RDA and what RDA/IGAD can do better to facilitate the integration of more organizations and individuals in the community of practice. This session will be delivered in Russian, Romanian, or Georgian.
    IGAD celebrates the RDA 10th anniversary year
    The IGAD virtual annual meeting will be promoted as part of RDA’s Agricultural and Environmental Data month (see The RDA’s 10th Anniversary Events and Activities | RDA (
    Formed in 2013, the Interest Group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) has grown to over 200 members. In 2021 we became RDA’s first Community of Practice. IGAD works on all issues related to Improving Global Agriculture Data. It represents stakeholders in managing data for agricultural research and innovation, including producing, aggregating and consuming data. It is a forum for sharing experiences and providing visibility to research and work in agricultural data. One of IGAD’s main roles is to facilitate creation of domain-specific Working Groups. Beyond this IGAD promotes good practices in research with regard to data sharing policies, data management plans, and data interoperability.
    Co-chairs of the Improving Global Agricultural Data  (IGAD) Community of Practice 
    Debora Ducker (EMBRAPA)
    Cynthia Parr (USDA Agricultural Research Service)
    Valeria Pesce (Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation,  GFAR
    Marina Razmadze (Institute for Scientific and Technical Information – TECHINFORMI)
    Piotr Zaborowski (Open Geospatial Consortium)

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