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Agricultural data have become increasingly important for the national and global development and sustainability strategies. Food policies, rural development, natural resources management, all benefit from the efforts to make agricultural data and knowledge more accessible.

Numerous initiatives are driving the movement to open up access to agricultural data worldwide. These initiatives yielded the amount and the complexity of data, raising the need for integrated systems able to manage the heterogeneous, large volumes of data derived from different sources.

Agriculture in RDA

The RDA Interest group on Agricultural Data (IGAD) was set up in Gothenburg in 2013 during the 1st RDA Plenary Meeting, and now counts over 100 members from across the globe. IGAD is a discipline-specific group that promotes good practices in the research domain, including data sharing policiesdata management plans, and data interoperability and provides a forum for sharing experiences and providing visibility to research and work in agricultural data. Furthermore IGAD has served as a platform that has led to the creation of a series of focused domain-specific Working Groups:

The Wheat Data Interoperability WG is the first of the 4 to produce and publish a set of Recommendations. At the end of its 18 months term, the group has provided a common framework for describing, representing linking and publishing Wheat data with respect to existing open standards. The framework is designed to promote and sustain Wheat data sharing, reusability and operability, already in course of adoption by organisations such as INRIA, EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute, Munich Information Center for Protein Sequences (MIPS), USDA ARS and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory or the Australian Center for Plant Functional Genomics.

Other groups that may be of interest:

RDA Adoption stories in Agriculture

Data standards for Agriculture: INRA adoption of RDA Outputs. The French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) is Europe’s top agricultural research institute and the world’s number two centre for the agricultural sciences. Being part of the Interest Group on Agricultural Data has been particularly fruitful in terms of strategic and technical advances to increase scientific data discoverability and interoperability at community level on Wheat Data for instance, or regarding semantic-based solutions for data handling and analyzing. Other RDA outputs are of importance for INRA, naming only those by the Libraries for Research Data IG which help defining the role of librarians from INRA in data management and sharing. RDA has also been the place o develop INRA’s research networks and federate to address major issue induced by the data sharing.

RDA Agriculture Data events

Innovating the wheat community through the RDA services and outputs, 13-14 July 2016, Maroussi, Greece

To support further adoption and contributions, RDA has worked together with ATHENA Research Center for the organization of Wheat Community Datathon event, which took place on 13th and 14th of July 2016 at the Athena research Center in Marousi, Athens. This event was aimed at getting researchers, students and other stakeholders acquainted with the data formats, services, protocols and needs of the Wheat Agriculture community. The first day featured presentations about the various services the wheat group is using, relevant use cases, as well as the services and outputs the RDA community has produced. Esther Dzale-Yeumo, French National Institute for Agricultural Research-INRA and co-chair of the Wheat Data Interoperability Group gave an introduction to the Wheat group domain and the RDA WG outputs. In the second day of the event, the participants had the opportunity to participate in a hands-on session (a laptop will be required) that involved the use of RDA services and their application together with external related services on the relevant data.

More information including the datasets can be found here.