Summary of AgriGIS ThinkTank and Workshop 2016, Nairobi, Kenya

We are pleased to report on the success of AgriGIS Workshop & Think Tank meetings in Nairobi organised jointly by the The University of Nottingham, the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN) and Crops for the Future (CFF) on October 27-28, 2016.

The objective of the event was to provide a forum for stakeholders in agricultural research organizations in Africa to share knowledge and propose strategies on improving the use of  open data, open educational resources , free and open geospatial software with the aim to expand Capacity Building and Training in AgriGIS to support Global Food Security.

The slides of the event  are at  http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/grace/events/agrigis-kenya-slides.aspx

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We thank all the participants for their inputs and contributions for the Think-Tank discussions which covered the following themes (details to the summary of each theme are available at the event website)

*   Big challenges for Agriculture in the African context
*   Tools (known & wish list) used for agri using satellite/remote data collection
*   Existing or potential data sets we would like to use
*   Practical, technical, policy, impementation obstacles to Location aspects/geotechnologies for agri
*   Data and Modelling

There was interest and support from  participants for the need for Open Data in Agriculture and  initiatives like GODAN [1].

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Some of the key themes that emerged  from the Think Tank discussions were  the following

*   Importance of the need of an organisation locally to facilitate and ensure sustainability of AgriGIS
*   Spearheading open data and free and open software use for cost savings, expanding innovation and sustainability
*   Need for Capacity building among stakeholders

We are getting lot of emails of interest lot of colleagues in Africa expressing interest in follow up activities. We are pleased to inform that Center for Agricultural Networking and Information Sharing (CANIS) , Kenya has volunteered to  host the secretariat for the Think Tank  for developing as a focal point for interaction with other stakeholders on Open GIS and open data and keep building the ideas from the ThinkTank. We thank Kiringai Kamau and colleagues at CANIS for their support.  Please contact Kiringai (email  – kiringai@gmail.com  ) for expanding AgriGIS momentum in Kenya. We are also pleased to welcome CANIS as our new GeoforAll lab in Kenya.

It is good to see many blogposts from participants of the workshop such as the one at GEOSYMP  http://geosymp.com/2016/10/what-happened-at-the-agrigis-workshop-and-think-tank/

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We would like to specifically thank our hosts RCMRD ( Dr Hussein Farah and all colleagues) for their excellent organisation and arrangements including the hands on workshop .  We need to also make use of the community and momentum build by the ThinkTank for expanding future collaborations and make sure the community is kept  updated. Please make use of the  Twitter  created  to share your ideas https://twitter.com/hashtag/agrigisnr2016?f=tweets&vertical=default&src=hash

We  shared some examples of research at Nottingham at http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/genius/documents/egrasp-nairobi.pdf

More photos of the event at https://www.flickr.com/photos/148880137@N06/

We are hoping to keep building the collaborations in AgriGIS to  support Global Food Security.

Best wishes,

Suchith Anand

[1] http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/genius/documents/godan-uon-intro.pdf

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