Co-sponsored by the Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China and the Asian Development Bank, now the GMS Agricultural Information Network is under construction, while the domain name is www.gms-ain.org.
Objective of the Network
General objective of the Network is to strengthen exchange of agricultural information so as to promote agricultural cooperation among GMS member countries and agricultural trade through the establishment of an Internet platform employing modern information technology. The cooperation between GMS countries will increase the competitiveness of GMS agriculture, as well as, reduce the disparity in ICT development in GMS countries.
A list of proposed focal persons responsible for taking appropriate actions of each member country.
GMS countries comprise Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, and People’s Republic of China. While Yunnan Province of China should be the focus for the GMS Agricultural Information Network, information of other provinces, which may be of interest to GMS countries from a agro-climatic perspective, may be covered. In addition, agriculture and trade should be the major focus. Agriculture should cover crop production, livestock, fishery and forestry.
The website is to be divided into eight columns: News, Introduction of GMS, Working Group of Agriculture, Agricultural Policy, Agricultural Technology, Cooperation Project, Trading Information and Forum. The language for the website will be in English while local language will be supported. Members are free to translate information into other GMS country languages, as needed, for uploading.
Two modules will be developed for information management. One is the Management System of the Website, which is used to distribute and update information in website over long distances. The other is the Management System of User Authentication, which is used to manage all users who access the website.
Operation and Maintenance Mechanisms of the Network
At the initial stage, China will take the lead in planning and establishing the website. In implementing the Project, China will collaborate closely and consult other GMS members (and ADB). GMS member countries will establish corresponding institutions and designate project executors to be responsible for collection and distribution of the national information.
During the stage of construction, training courses and workshops will be organized in GMS member countries to train the project staff and exchange information. Participants agreed to use open source for development of the website.
After development of the website, each GMS member country will be responsible for maintaining and updating information in its own nation.
Publicity actions shall be taken by GMS member countries to popularize the website and mobilize participation by other organizations and agencies. Information on such publicity campaigns will be shared with other GMS countries to ensure the effort at obtaining publicity and use of the network is effective.
Application of membership system and cost recovery strategy will be effected step by step. Further discussion is needed to determine the policy on cost recovery and fees with a view to ensure the sustainability of the Network.