of Understanding for International Cooperation on the Utilization of IT for
Agriculture, Food, and the Environment
internationally active associations and organizations with a pronounced
interest in the utilization of Information Technology (IT) and its potential
for Agriculture, the Environment, Food Related Industries, and International
Agricultural Development, agree to cooperate within an International Network
for Information Technology in Agriculture to promote international
communication and cooperation in the design and development of IT-based
support systems and in the management and use of digital knowledge and
The network builds on scientific and professional associations and
organizations whose primary focus is on the network's line of interest
(core members) and associations and organizations with a profound but
secondary interest in this engagement (affiliated members). Members are the
initial founding members and any other association or organization admitted
thereafter by a two-thirds majority vote.
The network may identify itself by any name approved by a two-thirds
majority vote of its members. In the absence of any other decision, the
network is referred to as International Network for Information
Technology in Agriculture (INFITA).
The network delivers its activities through its members, through individuals
nominated or endorsed by members or the governing group of the network
itself, and through an international council of experts. The cooperation
involves, but is not limited to,
a) the promotion of electronic communication through newsletters,
e-journals, video communication, internet sites or similar developments,
b) the organization of outreach initiatives of various kind including
conferences, workshops, or
training initiatives, and
c) the provision of advisory services on an international level in the
network's areas of interest and
The members agree to support the organization of 'World Conferences on
IT in Agriculture' (WCCA) by its core members, to have no competing
international conference activities during the World Conference period, to
act as conference co-sponsors, and to provide organizational support for the
conferences. A linkage of World Conferences with regular conferences of core
members is preferred. The conference organizer and conference date will be
determined by a majority vote of network members at least 2 years before the
conference. World Conferences should be scheduled at least every 2 years.
The first World Conference was organized in March 2002 in Brazil in
conjunction with the conference of the Brazilian Association for IT in
Agriculture (SBI-Agro), the second one is scheduled for 2004 in Thailand in
conjunction with the conference of the Asian Federation for IT in
Agriculture (AFITA), the third one for 2005 in Portugal in conjunction with
the conference of the European Federation for IT in Agriculture, Food and
the Environment (EFITA).
members agree to support the publication of an international scientific and
peer-reviewed electronic 'Journal on IT in Agriculture'. The
advisory and editorial board is to be determined by its members but should
represent the major continents and the diversity of IT applications in the
network's areas of interest and activities.
Network supports the establishment of an international council of experts (International
IT-Policy Council) as an international policy advisory body on IT
developments in agriculture. The council acts through seminars, reports and
statements to guide policy representatives of governments and institutions
in the design of IT policies. The council develops its own statutes and work
program. The advisory body should not exceed a maximum of 30 members who
have a proven international standing and appropriate sources to participate
in council meetings in person or through video communication. The presidents
of member associations are ex-officio members of the council and are not
counted towards the maximum number of members. The council meets at least in
conjunction with the World Conference. New candidates are proposed by the
council or by member associations or organizations and confirmed by the
network's governing group. Membership in the council lasts for 3 years and
can be renewed.
activities of the network are coordinated by a coordination group with 2
representatives from each of the member organizations. Membership in the
coordination group is from World Conference to World Conference. A renewal
of membership is possible. The chairmanship rotates among representatives of
core members on an annual basis. The group may invite additional persons to
join the group as non-voting members. The group meets at least in
conjunction with the World Conference. The coordination group is referred to
as the 'Board' of the Network'.
Participation in the Network involves no financial obligations by members if
not agreed upon by a two-thirds majority vote.
Founding members include as core members: AFITA (Asian Federation for IT in
Agriculture), EFITA (European Federation for IT in Agriculture, Food and the
Environment), and PanAFITA (Panamerican Federation for IT in Agriculture).
CIGR (International Association of Agricultural Engineers) and IAALD
(International Association of Agricultural Information Specialists) may
assume the status of a founding member when joining the network at a later
and signed during the 4th Conference of the European Federation
for IT in Agriculture, Food and the Environment (EFITA), Debrecen, Hungary.
19, 2003 IAALD , the 'International Association of Agricultural Information
Specialists' joined the network as the 4th founding member.
This was confirmed by a message from Pamela Q. J. Andre, Acting President,
pleased to report that the IAALD Executive Committee has agreed to become
founding members of INFITA. We are very excited to be joining colleagues
with such a strong interest in utilizing IT in all aspects of agriculture.
As information specialists, IT is absolutely critical to our success and an
organization like INFITA will certainly help to improve it's use