International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
P.O. Box 5466, Aleppo, Syria
Phone: (963-21) 2213433, 2213477, 2225112, 2225012
Fax: (963-21) 2213490, 2225105;
E-mail: [email protected]
Media contact: Dr Surendra Varma ([email protected]
Within the framework of one of the CGIAR ICT-KM projects, the Central Laboratory for Agricultural Expert Systems (CLAES), Agricultural Research Center, Cairo, Egypt, organized a workshop on “Utilization of Intelligent Systems for Plant Protection” on 25–26 October 2005. Twenty-two staff members from the partner organizations (CLAES, ICARDA, ICRISAT and IRRI) and six NARS representatives (Egypt, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia) attended the workshop.
The objectives of the workshop were:
(i) preliminary review of the knowledge base and framework for the three crops covered by the project (barley, chickpea and wheat), and other work carried out by the partners, (ii) demonstration and training of the Expert Systems Generic Tool (being developed by CLAES), and (iii) agreement on the way ahead until the end of Phase I and steps for Phase II.
Dr Said Mansour, Deputy President of the Agricultural Research Center, Egypt, opened the workshop. He welcomed the participants and wished them success. Prof. Ahmed Rafea, Project Coordinator, and Dr Soliman Edrees, Director, CLAES, also welcomed the participants and emphasized the importance of the workshop. Dr Zaid Abdul-Hadi, Head of CBSU, ICARDA, welcomed the participants on behalf of ICARDA Director General Prof. Dr Adel El-Beltagy and thanked ARC and CLAES for hosting the workshop.
He briefed the participants on the CGIAR ICT-KM project on intelligent systems, and summarized the progress to date, highlighting the achievements of each partner. ICARDA has largely completed its work on knowledge capture for barley and the development of a Knowledge Acquisition tool; CLAES has finished the development of the Generic Task Tool and an alternative Knowledge Acquisition tool; and IRRI has developed a prototype for an e-learning module. ICRISAT has collected some data on knowledge management for chickpea.
The first prototype version of the Barley Protection Expert System was demonstrated, as well as the knowledge acquisition tools developed by ICARDA and CLAES. IRRI demonstrated the e-learning module. Considerable discussions took place on the barley protection knowledge acquired and on the wheat expert system developed jointly by CLAES and ICARDA.
All participants agreed that the workshop was a success and met its objectives. A considerable part of the knowledge base for barley was captured. A lot more remains to be done to complete this phase by March 2006. An action plan was agreed to meet the target.
For more information contact: Dr Zaid Abdul-Hadi
About ICARDA: Established in 1977, ICARDA (www.icarda.cgiar.org) serves the entire developing world for the improvement of barley, lentil, and faba bean; and dry-area developing countries for the on-farm management of water, improvement of nutrition and productivity of small ruminants (sheep and goats), and rehabilitation and management of rangelands. In the Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA) region, ICARDA is responsible for the improvement of durum and bread wheats, chickpea, pasture and forage legumes and farming systems; and for the protection and enhancement of the natural resource base of water, land, and biodiversity.
The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) (www.cgiar.org) is a strategic alliance of countries, international and regional organizations, and private foundations supporting15 international research centers that mobilizes cutting-edge science to promote sustainable development by reducing hunger and poverty, improving human nutrition and health, and protecting the environment.