Paris, 24 December 2007

EFITA newsletter / 341 / European Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, Food and the Environment

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2008!

Central European Biomass Conference 2008
16-19 January 2008 GRAZ - Austria

International pellet forum - Progetto Fuoco 2008
24-27 January - VERONE, Italie

> Central Science Laboratories (CSL) does this as part of the CropMonitor service
> The Arable Group (TAG) also does this for some things but mostly to remind members about meetings!
Contact: Andrew CRAGG
E-mail: acragg(a)

SMS in Finland and Poland
I am Jarmo Oittinen, Manager of Bitcomp, Finnish-Polish software company. We specialize in software development for agriculture and forestry and i am one of the readers of EFITA newsletter. Thank you for this kind of service and for many good jokes i have found here :-)
When I saw your question about using SMS, I thought you might be interested about our Remote Adviser concept? We have developed this service in cooperation with Finnish advisory organization (ProAgria). We were testing also SMS messaging during the last summer within the framework of the efarmer pilot project (
Unlike typical SMS service, RemoteAdvisor service is based on centralized Internet application (WebWisu). WebWisu itself is a Rich Internet Application for plant production. It's offering full planning tools, GIS part, subsidy applications, mobile client etc.
User of WebWisu can grant access to farm data for advisors and for other service providers.  After that farmer and the advisor can share plans, reports and communicate remotely.
Moreover, advisor has a specific interface which he/she can use for searching contacts and and for sending messages. Advisor can write messages directly to farm plot booking (to the database), send emails and/or send SMS.
In connection of this eFarmer pilot, we made also a small survey among the pilot farms, and the feedback was very promising. Farmers appreciate easiness and there is clear demand for 'push style' services where farmer themselves don't have to be active. But these messages have to be 'well-tailored' and sent only for well-defined target group. Otherwise they are considered as SPAM!
Contact: Jarmo OITTINEN
E-mail: jarmo.oittinen(a)

Preliminary Alpha Test version of AGROVOC Concept Server Workbench online
A preliminary test version of the AGROVOC Concept Server Workbench is now online available at: The tool shall help build and structure multilingual ontology and terminology systems in the area of agriculture in a distributed environment. With that we are moving away from a centralized development of AGROVOC to a Web2.0 inspired way of networked and distributed contributions to create a system with rich semantics that will greatly enhance indexing, searching and information organization in the agricultural domain. Please feel free to log in as guest and provide your valuable feedback. At this stage you can be part of the development process with your ideas and comments.
Contact: Gauri SALOKHE
E-mail: Gauri.Salokhe(a)

Overview of Danish Agriculture and its ICT tools

AgroTourNet project on
Contact: Alecos TRINGIDES

The link Potato blight is and not
Contact: Cristiano SPADONI
E-mail: info(a)

A letter to God

There was a man who worked for the Post Office whose job was to process all the mail that had illegible addresses. One day a letter came, addressed "To God" in a shaky handwriting, but with no actual address. He thought he should open it to see what it was about. The letter read:

Dear God,
I am an 93 year old widow, living on a very small pension. Yesterday someone stole my purse. It had 100 in it, which was all the money I had until my next pension cheque. Next Sunday is Christmas Day, and I had invited my only living friend over for dinner. Without that money, I have nothing to buy food with, have no family to turn to - you are my only hope. Can you please help me?

The postal worker was touched. He showed the letter to all the other workers. Each one dug into his or her wallet and came up with a few quid. By the time he made the rounds, he had collected 95, which they put into an envelope and sent to the woman. For the rest of the day, all the workers felt a warm glow thinking of Edna and the dinner she would be able to share with her friends.
Christmas came and went. A few days later, another letter came from the same old lady addressed to God. All the workers gathered around while the letter was opened. It read:

Dear God,
How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me? Because of your gift of love, I was able to fix a glorious dinner for my friend. We had a lovely day and I told my friend of your wonderful gift.
By the way, there was 5 missing. I think it was those c**ts at the Post Office.


Contact: Mick HARKIN
E-mail: harkin(a)

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