Alliance of Agricultural Information Services – SIDALC

Manuel Hidalgo, Federico Sancho

Abstract


IICA recognizes that information management and knowledge sharing are fundamental for improving agriculture and rural life in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Both information and knowledge are essential in decision making, research and education, as well as in achieving competitiveness, innovation and sustainable development. SIDALC is an international alliance of information services in which institutions from 22 countries in the Americas share their agricultural, livestock, forestry and environmental information. Created in 1999, today SIDALC is one of the most important sources of knowledge and information for agriculture in LAC both on the web and offline. SIDALC’s success lies in the fact that it has taken advantage of the intellectual capital of 172 national institutions and national networks that, acting as intermediaries in the management and dissemination of information, continually expand and modernize their services in light of the new paradigms of the “knowledge society”. Because of this, SIDALC is the largest community of information specialists interested in providing services openly around the globe. They collaborate with one another, “sharing a little so that all can have more,” while conserving their identity and policies. SIDALC is open to the public, at www.sidalc.net (no subscription required), permitting on-line searches of 2.6 millions of records and available digital collections including more than 225.013 full-text documents. Furthermore, SIDALC is linked to other information systems and networks in a number of countries of the Americas, which provides stakeholders in agriculture and rural territories with a direct response to their information needs from reference desks around LAC.

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