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This site emerged out of an ongoing research initiative being conducted by the Centre of Excellence, Mona School of Business, UWI in collaboration with the Rural Agricultural Development Agency (RADA) in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jamaica and funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).  It seeks to demonstrate the possibilities and opportunities associated with extending the accessibility, reach and utility of several of the Ministry's significant information resources through OpenData principles.

One of the activities that RADA carries out in their many extension support services to farmers is the collection and management of data about farmers, their farming production capacity and ongoing production activity. This is a critical resource for supporting Agricultural supply-side planning production and statistical reporting. The ABIS - Agricultural Business Information System provides the electronic repository for much of this Production data. More recently the Jamaica Agriculture Market Information System (JAMIS), was established by the Ministry of Agriculture to collect and disseminate pricing data of agricultural commodities traded in the local and regional market place, on a weekly basis. 

This OpenData Proof-of-Concept using the RADA & JAMIs Agriculture data explores the potential for OpenData to lead to increased innovation on the basic premise that data becomes far more valuable with use. The site features:

a) The OpenData web-services API that provides access to over 10 years of Agricultural production data derived from the RADA
ABIS Data repository. The data catalog includes Farm data, Crop data and Crop retail prices, and provides a description of
the data sets and a Query builder to illustrate how data can be retrieved from the Webservices API.

b) A catalog of application prototypes that were conceptualized and built by developers during the a 2-day
Slashroots Developers' Conference and Codesprint held on Feb 24th, 2011. Visit the Slashroots Presentation and
Photo archives

c) A demonstration prototype of an application that illustrates how OpenData can improve directly and indirectly the efficiency of
value-chain microfinance loan processing in Jamaica that could benefit small farmers. This application enables a microFinance
Institution to evaluate a Farmer's loan application by reaching into the ABIS Dataset with his RegistrationID and retrieving
information on his farm property as well as production history, to provide a quasi-Agricultural collateral. The application
supports both web/mobile interfaces and was developed on the vTiger CRM platform.

We believe that by encouraging the local software developer community to contemplate value-added applications  in Agriculture through building on the ABIS Production data and integration and mash-ups with other data sources, then we not only engage a wider constituency of interests in Agriculture, but can potentially accelerate the rate of innovation in the application of Information technology to this critical sector.