Plan for Establishment of a National Information System for Agricultural Development in Sudan

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Addis Ababa University


It is being recognized in an increasing measure that for faster pace of socio-economic development , it is not only necessary to promote scientific and technological ~ research and development but also to disseminate information about the findings and products at a faster pace targeted at their potential users. Further, it is also being recognized by many developing countries that a National Development Plan should include strategies for developing a national infrastructure for development information. This study proposes a plan for establishing a national agricultural information system for Sudan and a strategy for its implementation. Questionnaires were sent to different agricultural institutions/organizations, research stations/centers in livestock, fisheries, fore s try, environment and natural resources, etc. in Sudan to survey the status of agricultural information faci1ities, and to researchers in agriculture and related sciences to survey their information needs. Based on the findings of the survey, Sudan's existing infrastructure in relation to agricultural education , research, extension services, organizations and institutions, documentation and information services and transportation and communication is discussed. Constraints and limitations in relation to agricultural research, extension services and information service facilities are discussed. The planning, designing and development of the national agricultural information system, must take into account the elements of the environment, namely Sudan. Further , the information system plan should be compatible with and eventually integrated into the national socioeconomic plan. Therefore, information about and description of the country, especially its geographic location , climate and vegetation, population, planning and development, and economic situation is presented. Nationa1 agricultural information system and network, their objectives, functions and activities are discussed. A plan for establishing a national agricultural information system and its implementation strategy is formulated. The development of national agricultural information network with the National Documentation and Information Centre (NADIC) as a focal point is suggested. Development of databases containing sample records on information sources and systems, experts , institutions , etc . relating to agriculture is suggested to facilitate referral service on agriculture. Proposed vocabulary control tools by using computer is suggested. Finally, a summary, conclusion and recommendations are presented.



Information Science