Since the early 1980’s, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has coordinated AGROVOC, a valuable tool for classifying data homogeneously, facilitating interoperability and reuse.
AGROVOC is a multilingual and controlled vocabulary designed to cover concepts and terminology under FAO's areas of interest. It is the largest Linked Open Data set about agriculture available for public use and its greatest impact is through providing the access and visibility of data across domains and languages.
AGROVOC provides a way to organize knowledge for subsequent data retrieval and consists of a structured collection of concepts, terms, definitions and relationships. Concepts represent anything in food and agriculture, such as maize, hunger, aquaculture, value chains or forestry; these concepts are used to unambiguously identify resources, allowing standardized indexing processes to make searching more efficient. Each AGROVOC concept also has terms used to express it in various languages, known as lexicalizations. Today, AGROVOC consists of more than 38 000 concepts and 800 000 terms in up to 40 languages.
Over recent years, AGROVOC has evolved to become a valued information resource worldwide with more than 30 milllion accesses a year. This book aims to increase awareness of the use of AGROVOC to enhance the accessibility and visibility of information and data, as well as to inform about the latest technical developments, recommended standards and various ways to engage with AGROVOC.