Organic information goes online

29 Sep, 2010 11:02 AM

A NEW website featuring information, links and stories about organic agriculture has been launched by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC).

The Organics Knowledge Hub provides people with a quick and easy way to search and find information about organic farming.

At the heart of the Knowledge Hub is a search engine which is designed to specifically search, index and return results from leading national and international organics websites.

These websites were selected by representatives from the organics industry, universities and state and federal research agencies as those which are the most credible, current, relevant and comprehensive.

“The beauty of this website is that it’s a far more targeted way of searching for information about organic farming compared to more conventional search engines,” said RIRDC senior research manager Dave Alden.

“So if you type ‘organic strawberries’ into the hub, it will go away and search around 200 leading organic websites for information about organic strawberries, and come back to you with the most relevant and up to date links.

“You probably won’t get as many returns as if you were using a normal search engine – what you will get however are far more targeted returns from leading organic sites.

“Search results are sorted into various categories, including consumers, producers, retailers and researchers, which enable visitors to the website to download information that is most relevant to them.”

The Hub’s search engine automatically identifies new documents as they become available in cyberspace, as long as they are publicly accessible via a website.

Dr Alden said the site also contains a number of organic agriculture success stories.

These include a salad grower from the outskirts of Melbourne who is growing pesticide-free vegetables in the same way his grandfather did half a century ago, and two organic goat cheese farmers near Bendigo who took out the Sydney Royal Show’s grand champion cheese award, which is the first time goat’s cheese has ever won the overall award.

Dr Alden said the list of searchable sites is growing all the time as new sites are found, selected and uploaded to the Knowledge Hub search engine.


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