Title: Building a virtual community for organic agriculture

Authors: Sotiris Karetsos, Constantina Costopoulou, Maria Ntaliani

Addresses: Informatics Laboratory, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos str., 118 55 Athens, Greece. ' Informatics Laboratory, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos str., 118 55 Athens, Greece. ' Informatics Laboratory, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos str., 118 55 Athens, Greece

Abstract: Although organic agriculture is gaining ground in agriculture worldwide, a number of countries still encounter problems, mostly related to the lack of validated information and knowledge, of technical support from specialised agronomists, of coordination and organisation of the trading network and of promoting mechanisms. The appropriate use of web technologies and mobile communications can help in the solution of the aforementioned problems. In this context, this article describes a multi-access portal that provides crucial, accurate and certified content related to organic agriculture through personal computers with connection to the internet or mobile phones. Also, it supports the building of a virtual community, in this way facilitating the exchange of experiences and views and the establishment of business collaborations among organic agriculture stakeholders. The proposed portal was developed according to the Unified Modelling Language (UML)-based Rational Unified Process (RUP) life cycle approach, and has been implemented for the Greek case.

Keywords: organic agriculture; virtual communities; web portals; mobile phones; cell phones; e-business; electronic business; e-government; electronic government; web based communities; online communities; Greece; mobile communications; internet; UML.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2008.019196

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2008 Vol.4 No.3, pp.366 - 383

Available online: 02 Jul 2008 *

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