First KM regional workshop in the Pacific

Israel Bionyi Nyoh

From the 7-10 September, 2015 CTA-Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation was facilitating a three-day workshop on Knowledge Management  for Agriculture and Forestry in Port Vila, Vanuatu to help farmers, business men, information managers, social media experts, communications officers, journalists and policy makers working in the agricultural sector in the Pacific to develop new ideas and methods to better access, agriculture policies, research and information.

The ‘Strengthening Regional Knowledge Management(KM) Capacities’ workshop, first of its kind, was a collaborative effort between CTA , European Union’s(EU) Pacific Agriculture Policy Project (PAPP), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and Vanuatu’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Forestry and Biosecurity (MALFFB).

The workshop, which brought together 40 participants from 8 countries in the Pacific including Vanuatu, Tonga, Palau, Niue, Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Fiji and Samoa had as objectives to:

  • Raise awareness of the importance and benefits of knowledge management to agricultural and forestry stakeholders in the Pacific region.
  • Assist participants to initiate development of knowledge management national Action Plans, including for Vanuatu, as part of a regional KM intervention.
  • Establish a steering mechanism to promote collaboration and capacity development on KM across the region.

“Obviously we need to keep in mind our overall objectives of achieving food and nutrition security, development and implementation of policies complemented by good practices in knowledge management: this is why we are here this week”, said Krishan Bheenick, Senior Programme Coordinator, Knowledge Management at CTA adding to the objectives of the workshop.

KM  is key

Participants at the workshop were happy to discover KM for the first time and share a common understanding. They also learnt how the KM Scan- provides insight of the status of knowledge management practices at organisational level as well as the various KM activities and challenges.

Deffnie Thompson, is a social media strategist in Vanuatu participating in the workshop. She said before coming to the workshop, she knew little about KM, but she now understands what KM is all about and thinks social media is also a great tool for knowledge management: to communicate and advocate on agriculture and rural development issues.

“I was not a formal participant at the workshop. I came just for the opening but then I saw the importance of KM to the already existing strategies that the Department of Forestry and as well the Ministry of Agriculture is looking at implementing”, said Tate Hanington Vanuatu Director for Forestry, another participant at the workshop.

“I see KM as a key component or key driver to the strategies that the Ministry of Agriculture and the Department of Forestry is looking forward to put in action…”

Tate Hannington ended up becoming the leader of the Vanuatu team that will oversee the development of the KM action plan for his country, along with the other 12 participants who attended from all regions of Vanuatu.

A pioneer Agricultural Policy Bank launched

The workshop on Knowledge Management, was appropriately followed by  the launch of the first ever Agricultural Policy Bank in Vanuatu. In partnership with the EU’s PAPP, SPC, Vanuatu’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Forestry and Biosecurity launched their first ever repository of agricultural policies on September 10, 2015. “This is a process that is being facilitated across the region by the Intra-ACP PAPP, our project component in the Pacific region” says Samson VilvilFare, Programme Coordinator Intra-ACP Agricultural Policy at CTA.

Speaking at the launch was the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Moana Carcasses Kalosil. He said “the Policy Bank enables key agricultural information such as policies, frameworks and plans to be made easily available to farmers, entrepreneurs, policy makers, donors, development partners and other stakeholders.”


Read other stories about the events:

Read more stories about CTA’s KM programme here

In French:

“L’Information, c’est le Pouvoir, Partager les Connaissances c’est plus de Pouvoir”