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Busch J.A.,Taxonomy Strategies | Bliss V.,Taxonomy Strategies | Hlava M.,Access Innovations | Subirats I.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the ASIST Annual Meeting

Knowledge organization systems (KOS) are the key elements for interlinking the values of Linked Data datasets. Existing KOS products (including well-known thesauri and classification systems) need to be transformed into the constructs of Linked Data services, much more beyond what a traditional thesaurus or classification were/are developed, but how? What can these Linked Data KOS bring to various information services? The panelists will share their experiences and lessons learned. The presentation starts from the processes that have been developed to build, maintain, and publish a newly derived taxonomy using W3C SKOS standard, to make it extensible and scalable to support new information services in scholarly publishing workflow. The next presentation will share experiences and lessons learned from the implementation of a platform built for publishing and distribution of multiple KOS and for automatic indexing using these KOS. The third case is a Linked Data bibliographic service, a RDF-aware system and a mash up application which relies on the use of a multilingual thesaurus that has been published and maintained as a Linked Data dataset, and has been mapped to more than ten KOS. For the datasets that have not used standardized KOS, the panel will present methods that can be applied when generating or deriving project-focused micro-thesauri from the Linked Data KOS and give an overview of the use cases of Linked Data KOS in information services. Source

Wang X.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Zhao Q.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Hu Y.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Zheng Y.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | And 6 more authors.
Irrigation Science

The field experiment for cotton crop (Gossypium hirsutum L.) was conducted at the Zhongjie Farm, Huanghua city of Hebei province in the coastal salinity-affected areas in North China Plain, to determine the effects of an alternative of irrigation water sources/methods and agronomic practices on seedling emergence and yields of cotton, soil water-salt distributions, and soil pH changes during cotton growth stages. The experiment was setup using split-plot design with two water sources as main treatments (well water/desalinized sea-ice water); two irrigation methods (+PAM (Polyacrylamide)/-PAM); and four fertilization modes: check (CK), mineral fertilizer (F), mineral + organic fertilizer (FM), and mineral fertilizer + gypsum (FG). Using desalinized sea-ice water irrigation showed the same effects on top-soil salt leaching and desalinization as using well water did. There was no significant difference in seedling emergence and cotton yields between two irrigation water sources for cotton irrigation. Using PAM-treated irrigation, the 10-cm top-soil salinity significantly decreased to about 2.3-3.9 g kg -1 from 4.6 to 8.6 g kg -1 (PAM untreated). The PAM-treated irrigation increased seedling emergence by about 13, 29 and 36% and yields by about 50, 49, and 70%, with F, FM, and FG, respectively, as compared with CK. PAM-treated irrigation, either using well water or desalinized sea ice, especially in combination with gypsum-fertilization, shows the best practice for both seedling emergence and cotton yields. In conclusion, the desalinized sea-ice water used as an alternative water source, integrated with better agronomic practices of soil water-salt management could be acceptable for cotton irrigation in the coastal saline areas. © 2011 Springer-Verlag. Source

Sedik D.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN | Lerman Z.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Uzun V.,Russian Academy of the economics and State Service
Post-Soviet Affairs

This article analyzes the implications of World Trade Organization (WTO) accession for Russian agricultural policy. Using Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data on producer support from 2010, we identify two major characteristics of Russian agricultural and trade policy (a) reliance on sizeable differences between world and domestic prices to generate two-thirds of agricultural producer support and (b) highly distortionary budget support. We then consider whether the disciplines introduced by WTO accession will constrain or even roll back these distortionary policies, thereby substantially changing the nature of agricultural policies in Russia. Using data from OECD-FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and Russian Ministry of Agriculture projections, we conclude that the structure of OECD-type producer support in 2020 will be very similar to its current state. Market price support will continue to dominate the Producer Support Estimate, and the projected Current Total Aggregate Measure of Support (AMS) will approach the WTO Bound Total AMS (the ceiling on production-distorting support) only in 2018. For the reasons above, we conclude that although WTO accession provides opportunities for important changes in Russian sanitary, phytosanitary, food safety, trade, and tariff policies, membership is not a guarantee of systemic change. In fact, a serious look at Russian WTO commitments makes a minimum-change scenario quite possible and even likely. © 2013 Taylor & Francis. Source

News Article
Site: http://www.nature.com/nature/current_issue/

At the beginning of this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a road map to guide India’s science and technology over the next two decades. Launched during the Indian Science Congress at the University of Mysore, the plan signalled a cautious approach to techniques such as genetically modified (GM) crops, noting that “some aspects of biotechnology have posed serious legal and ethical problems in recent years”. That is true, but a different and much larger problem looms for India. According to the 2015 United Nations World Population Prospects report, India will surpass China by early next decade as the most populous country on Earth, with the most mouths to feed. India is already classed as having a ‘serious’ hunger problem, according to the 2015 Global Hunger Index of the International Food Policy Research Institute. There is a danger that many of these new Indians will not have sufficient food. Where can additional food come from? Grain production is stagnant, and rapid urbanization is reducing available land. To increase food production, India needs to invest in modern agricultural methods, including GM crops. Indian researchers have shown that they have the expertise to generate GM plants, most obviously the pest-resistant cotton that is now widely grown in India. But almost all of this work has relied on molecular-biology research done elsewhere — India has in effect borrowed or been given the genes. This leads to complications, usually conflict over intellectual property (IP) rights. Most high-profile was the insecticide-producing GM cotton variety that was released by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in New Delhi in 2009. It was based on a Bacillus thuringiensis gene to which the agricultural biotechnology company Monsanto, based in St Louis, Missouri, owed the IP rights. The ensuing controversy has seeded confusion among Indian researchers, scientific managers and administrators over IP rights, patents and the related rules and regulations. In response, India is turning to research based on old discoveries, including genes that are in the public domain or no longer protected by patents. The problem here is that insects have already developed resistance to the toxins produced by such genes: the companies that developed first-generation GM crops with these genes are already on second- and even third-generation versions of the same plants. Increased use of this old technology in India can only accelerate resistance and make the situation more difficult. Other developing countries (including Pakistan) are also turning to such redundant technology. India should stop trying to build the Taj Mahal with borrowed bricks. We need a concerted effort at home to discover and manipulate relevant genes in indigenous organisms and crops (such as chickpea and rice). Indian microbial institutes should take up projects in this direction, because most of the currently used genes for transgenic generation are of microbial origin. That requires a change in direction from an Indian GM-food strategy that has traditionally aimed at quick product development instead of careful assessment of the underlying science. Such home-grown GM crops would also reduce reliance on transgenic technology produced by multinational companies, which is expensive and rarely optimized for the conditions of specific regions. Some GM crops designed abroad need more water than is usually available in some parts of India, for example, putting great stress on farmers. Indian scientists need better training in IP issues, especially when our researchers join foreign collaborations to examine and exploit the molecular biology of our natural resources. Otherwise, Indian researchers may get the scientific credit for discoveries but fail to claim the right to commercialize the products developed. Indian regulators should exert tighter controls on IP rights. At present, they focus only on the export of physical material, such as seeds and tissue. They need also to monitor, and make claims on, molecular information drawn from this material, down to the level of genes and promoter regions. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, India is the largest donor of crop germplasm to the world. Without realizing its importance, we are giving away the rights to exploit one of our most precious assets. Agrarian India is excelling in space science, but it needs to focus closer to home as well. It needs to follow the example of China, which is slowly but steadily building a GM-food market that is based on domestic discoveries. Compared with China, India has three times as much land planted with GM crops, but whereas India’s plants were mostly created with technology bought from abroad, China’s fields contain crops that were developed, tested and commercialized by Chinese scientists. India does not have to reject the expertise of international companies, but it must do more to build knowledge and skills at home. Mahatma Gandhi only wore clothes that he had woven himself. He gave India the slogan “from swadeshi to swaraj”, which means “be indigenous in order to self-rule”. The Indian government should take this message on board when planning future investment in biotechnology. The theme of this month’s science congress, after all, was “science and technology for indigenous development in India”. Indigenous development needs indigenous research.

Morshed A.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN | Johannsen G.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN | Lei Zeng M.,Kent State University | Keizer J.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN
Proceedings of the International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications

The AGROVOC is multilingual structure thesaurus for Agricultural domain. It has already been mapped with several vocabularies, for example, AGROVOC-CAT, AGROVOC-NALT, and AGROVOC-SWD. Although these vocabularies already contained a good portion of non-preferred terms, the terms are collected under the literary warrant and institutional warrant principles; which means vocabularies were collected based on the documents and publications rather than user?s queries. It is still very common that end users would use different terms to express the same concept. In light of above discussion, we need to bridge these vocabularies and the users? terms. Source

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