Priorities of Agricultural and Soil Sciences
Agriculture is central to all people. One focus of agricultural research is on ensuring food security through resource-efficient, sustainable food production (bioeconomy). As agricultural land is finite and competition with feed, bioenergy and raw material production becomes more important, food production per unit area must continue to increase in the future. Agricultural research develops and investigates strategies to increase production while preserving the ecosystem services of the soil as well as the accompanying landscape compartments water, biodiversity and climate in the long term ('sustainable land-use intensification').
Agricultural science covers a broad and heterogeneous field of research disciplines relevant for the 'NFDI4Agri' consortium such as soil science, plant and animal production, agricultural economics and -sociology, and plant physiology. Current research questions, among many others, deal with the impact of land use change and intensification on soil functions, plant development and production, the development of resistant seeds, the accurate application of fertilizers and pesticides (precision farming), the protection of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, the development of adaptation strategies to climate change, studies of nutrient cycles, and improvement of animal welfare.
What is NFDI4Agri?
The NFDI4Agri approach requires users from the research community and research data management (RDM) experts from all disciplines of agricultural research to implement common international standards to realize FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) and Linked Open Data principles in the community. These requirements for the provision of research data are indispensable for the scientific reputation and a publicly financed infrastructure for agricultural research data.
Our mission ...
is to meet the needs of the agricultural research community and connect agricultural disciplinary repositories and, hence, make publicly funded and yet isolated research data inter- and transdisciplinary available and thus reusable.
Our challenges are to ...
- set-up a flexible, interoperable and scalable data infrastructure by connecting existing and supporting the creation of new discipline specific infrastructures,
- respond properly to future developments by identifying needs and technological trends of the agricultural and soil community,
- integrate legacy research data into the infrastructure and provide it for free reuse. To this end, concepts are being developed to identify such data treasures, define responsibilities, prepare them and make them available,
- assure data quality by domain specific measures of quality control and set-up a quality feedback and curation system. The evaluation of the data fitness-of-use is an important data quality feature ensuring data reusability,
- take educational responsibilities into account by transferring our knowledge to the next generation of scientists (agricultural informatics), and to
- develop privacy and ethical standards constituting a fair balance between the interests of authors (including their institutions) of agricultural and soil data and of those in the international research communities who wish to reuse the data
Our integration into NFDI and NFDI4Life
The NFDI4Agri consortium defines its role in the overall NFDI initiative as part of the NFDI4Life umbrella consortium. Although NFDI4Agri focuses primarily on soil and agricultural sciences, other sectors must also be considered like meteorology, geomorphology, biodiversity. The concept of mutual understanding is also important for the interaction between different NFDI consortia.