FAO cooperates with CGIAR to increase interoperability between food and agricultural information systems

CGIAR and FAO announce new collaboration aiming to enhance data sharing in the food and agricultural sector through the AGROVOC Thesaurus.

FAO and CGIAR have established a collaboration to enhance data sharing in the food and agricultural domain through the further use and enhancement of the AGROVOC Thesaurus, a multilingual controlled vocabulary that covers terminology related to FAO’s areas of interest. AGROVOC is a valuable tool to classify data homogeneously, facilitate interoperability and reuse. It can ease the collection, storage and use of agronomic data, enabling easy and reuse of the data by humans and machines.

FAO has coordinated AGROVOC since the early 1980s and it has been translated into 40 languages since its inception. The CGIAR is a long-time user of AGROVOC. It is the keyword source recommended by the CG Core metadata schema for data sets and publications stored in open repositories and the Global Agricultural Research Data Innovation Acceleration Network (GARDIAN).

The Ontologies Community of Practice of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture organizes the submission of CGIAR concepts to AGROVOC and links  Agronomy Ontology terms to AGROVOC.

This year the Information and Data Management Community of Practice of the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture has created a Task Group co-chaired by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Alliance Bioversity International-CIAT that will define the CGIAR collaboration framework to enrich AGROVOC.

Task-Force members  


  • Olatunbosun Obileye, IITA
  • Elizabeth Arnaud, Alliance Bioversity-CIAT


  • Kristin Kolshus
  • Imma Subirats
  • Andrea Turbati
CGIAR members

  • Enrico Bonaiuti, ICARDA
  • Sara Jani, ICARDA
  • Soonho Kim, IFPRI
  • Marie-Angélique Laporte, Alliance Bioversity-CIAT
  • Jacqueline Muliro, WorldFish
  • Erica Saito, IFPRI
  • Leigh Plummer, IFPRI
  • Abenet Yabowork, ILRI

This collaboration will bring mutual benefits and strengthen the awareness of AGROVOC within CGIAR, while FAO will benefit from the in-depth field experts contributing to current research terminology in subjects related to the FAO’s work.


June 8, 2021

Imma Subirats Coll– FAO, Kristin Kolshus– FAO, Elizabeth Arnaud– the Alliance Bioversity International - CIAT


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