Paris, 7 October 2007

EFITA newsletter / 331 / European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

Printable flyer available on the AGROVOC Concept Server Workbench
An explanatory flyer is now available for downloading/printing about the AGROVOC Concept Server Workbench. The Workbench is a web-based working environment for managing the AGROVOC Concept Server. It provides tools and functionalities that facilitate the collaborative editing of multilingual terminology and semantic concept information. It further includes administration and group management features as well as built-in workflows for maintenance, validation and quality assurance of the data pool. You can download and learn more about this collaborative ontology maintenance tool!
Contact : Gauri SALOKHE
E-mail: gauri.salokhe(a)

Launch of an interactive web-based platform in support of agriculture and rural development

“e-agriculture is a truly demand-driven platform,” according to FAO’s Anton Mangstl

28 September 2007, Rome – The UN Food and Agriculture Organization today announced the launch of a unique interactive web-based platform focusing on the role that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can have in supporting agriculture and rural development.

The online platform,, will enable users to exchange opinions, experiences, good practices and resources related to e-agriculture, and to ensure that the knowledge created is effectively shared and used worldwide.

Developed by global stakeholders in collaboration with FAO and partners, the platform is part of an e-agriculture Community of Expertise, a global initiative to enhance sustainable agricultural development and food security by improving the use of ICT in the sector.

The Community includes policy makers, rural service providers, development practitioners, farmers, researchers and information and communication specialists involved in agriculture and rural development.

Over 3400 stakeholders from 135 countries were involved in the development of the platform. They participated in an online survey, providing relevant content, and joining in virtual forums held during July and August 2007.

The digital divide

Over the past decade, the digital divide - the divide between those with regular, effective access to digital and ICT and those without - has been shrinking in terms of numbers of fixed phone lines, mobile subscribers, and Internet users.

Nonetheless, only 18 percent of the world's population have currently access to the internet. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) estimates that one billion people worldwide still lack connection to any kind of information and communication technology. Of these people, most depend in some way on agriculture for their livelihoods.

“Stakeholders from around the globe have guided FAO and its partner organizations in what is now a truly demand-driven platform,” states Anton Mangstl, Director of FAO’s Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building Division.

“We are confident that the e-agriculture Community of Expertise will help facilitate further global discussions and decisions facing farmers, governments and the international community-at-large related to the role that ICT can have in agriculture and rural development,” Mr. Mangstl also said.

The launch of coincided with an “e-agriculture Week”, a series of consultations, meetings and other events held at FAO headquarters, in Rome (including Web2for Dev), which brought together over 300 global participants looking at the role of information, communication and knowledge management in Agriculture and Rural Development.

To join the e-agriculture Community of Expertise, please visit
Contact: Charlotte A. MASIELLO-RIOME
Email: charlotte.masiello(a)

CONTROLO'2008 - 8th Portuguese Conference on Automatic Control
21 - 23 July 2008 - VILA REAL
CONTROLO’2008 will provide an excellent opportunity for presenting new results and to discuss the latest research and developments in the field of automatic control. The conference is intended as an international forum where an effective exchange of knowledge and experience amongst researchers active in various theoretical and applied areas of systems and control can take place. Participation of engineers and other scientists from industry is particularly welcome.
CONTROLO’2008 also encourages the submission of Invited Sessions on well-defined subjects of current interest belonging to the scope of the conference. Authors that wish to organize an Invited Session in CONTROLO'2008 should first contact the organization. Normal and Invited Sessions papers will be further screened for possible publication in a special issue of the International Journal of Systems Science.

Contributions are welcome in both theoretical developments and practical implementations in all areas involving systems and control. The main topics include, but are not limited to:

 Adaptive control
 Aerospace control
 Agricultural processes
 Automotive control
 Behavioral systems
 Biotechnological and environmental systems
 Control applications
 Control architectures
 Control education
 Control technology, sensors and actuators
 Control theory
 Discrete-event systems
 Distributed control
 Dynamic Games
 Emerging control technologies
 Fault-tolerant control
 Fuzzy and neuro-fuzzy systems
 Genetic algorithms
 Hybrid systems
 Industrial automation
 Industrial networking

 Instrumentation
 Instrumentation, modelling and control in agriculture
 Linear and nonlinear control
 Manufacturing systems and scheduling
 Marine control
 Mechatronics
 Modelling, simulation and identification
 Networked Fault Tolerant Control
 Neural networks
 Optimal control
 Process control
 Real time systems architectures
 Remote control (web)
 Remote Laboratories in Control Education
 Robotics and automation
 Robust control
 Smart structures control
 Stochastic control
 Transportation systems

Contact: José BOAVENTURA
E-mail: jboavent(a)

The Jewish bra
A Jewish man walked into the Lingerie Department of Macy's in New York. He tells the saleslady, "I would like a Jewish bra for my wife, size 34 B."

With a quizzical look the saleslady asked, "What kind of bra?"

He repeated, "A Jewish bra. She said to tell you that she wanted a Jewish bra and that you would know what she wanted."

"Ah, now I remember," said the saleslady. "We don't get as many requests for them as we used to. Most of our customers lately want the Catholic bra, or the Salvation Army bra, or the Presbyterian bra."

Confused and a little flustered, the man asked "So, what are the differences?"

The saleslady responded. "It is all really quite simple. The Catholic bra supports the masses. The Salvation Army lifts up the fallen, and the Presbyterian bra keeps them staunch and upright."

He mused on that information for a minute and said: "Hmm. I know I'll regret asking, but what does the Jewish bra do?"

"Ah, the Jewish bra," she replied "makes mountains out of molehills."

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