IPM Coalition

integrated pest management

Strategy paper IPM Coalition (v. August 2016) with data model

Project title:

“A public knowledge base platform on IPM and highly hazardous pesticides phasing-out – Implementation of a Pesticide and IPM database”

 

Purpose of project:

Contribute to the phasing-out highly hazardous pesticides by increasing access to information on pesticides and to knowledge on integrated pest management to producers who use pesticides, either directly or through entities that provide advisory or extension service to them.

I Phase (building the website)

The website will allow the user to search for a pesticide using the active ingredient, and see the different attributes related to the hazard of that pesticide, including the attributes of each active ingredient eg. (IARC, WHO 1a, 1b, etc), CAS number, and the different status of each active ingredient as defined by each sustainability standard. It is therefore possible to see if a pesticide is restricted or banned by one or more standards.
 

II Phase (engage users and build strategic alliance with CABI)

The user will be able to search by crop or forestry species and identify its main pest and diseases, as well as the alternative methods or references available on the internet. More information might be provided by building up a community forum, so members of the community add on alternative methods.
 

 

IT perspective

 

Use and promotion of Common Open standards
The absence of (adherence to) a common open standard for (agro)chemicals,  and machine readable formats is a serious hindrance in information discovery around agrochemicals and integrated pest management. Standardization offers great benefit to the community, because it ensures interoperability between repositories and repository content, and facilitates greater discovery and automatized access to public and private information. Websites like the Pesticide Database of the ISEAL IPM coalition need metadata schemas along with controlled vocabularies that clearly describe, explain and associate publications and datasets with various other entities across repositories. Close collaboration and joint lobbying with influencing organizations like FAO, Syngenta, EPA, COAR, GODAN and others is required to promote similar setups amongst organizations publishing information in chemicals, IPM and sustainability standards.

Multi track approach

In the meantime, in building a pesticides database a best effort approach will have to be based on a multi-track approach:

  1. Together with chemical-technical experts identify potential sources of information (websites);
  2. Together with Open Data experts, identify an appropriate Open Standard with matching metadata schemas and controlled vocabularies;
  3. Based on point one and two, pull in unstructured data via techniques like scraping, natural language processing,

Multi track approach should resulting in an Open Linked Data Set that automatically validates and updates against multiple reliable Open Data sets (for instance FAO, Syngenta, EPA and many others, see the data model below).

Development approach

The use of Open Standards is not common yet, but quickly getting more popular amongst governments and ngo’s. Web scraping techniques complemented by natural language processing  techniques (based on Open Standards maintained controlled vocabularies) are quickly developing.

In order to stay up to date with the latest developments and offer users current and reliable information, a flexible incremental development approach should be used (Agile methodology). The Phase I and II as proposed by the ISEAL IPM Coalition fits in with the Agile methodology in which the developers work in different development sprints.

Developing an agro chemical database brings together experts from different disciplines, from different sustainability movements. Also because not all required data and data sources are readily available, the developers value co-creation through  Wiki approach in which the different actors are responsible for completeness, accuracy and currency of data.

Data model

Below, please find a provisional data model behind the proposed Agrochemical database of the ISEAL IPM coalition. Data model depicts the sourcing and structure of the raw data, required for different queries as mentioned under objectives.

 

 

 

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