Knowledge Sharing Platform for AgriProFocus

AgriProFocus is an international network with Dutch roots that promotes and drives farmer entrepreneurship among farmers and their organisations. AgriProFocus’ belief is that primary producers worldwide are the key to local economic growth and sustainable agri-food systems. Only in this way can 9 billion people be sustainably fed by 2050.

AgriProFocus’ goal is to develop an online and offline network where organisations, professionals, and agri-businesses can meet, do business, share resources and knowledge.

To reach this goal AgriProFocus wanted to develop a platform to provide access to valuable local contacts, such as cooperatives ready to do business with local and international buyers, offering a space to highlight innovations, and to generate publicity for new products and/or services.

AgriProFocus is active in 12 African countries, Indonesia and the Netherlands where it organizes a regular calendar of Business to Business events and fairs, expert meetings, knowledge events and debates. Moreover the network provides brokering services as well as an active online space for networking and exchange.

Background and Objectives

AgriProFocus’ objective was to integrate their existing web properties into one unified platform to which professionals and organizations could connect in an industry wide community, in which individuals could choose what’s relevant for them.

AgriProFocus’ platform goals are to be the best in industry for the following areas:

  • Knowledge Base on agri-business;
  • Meeting place for Joint Innovation in agri-business (a Community of Practice);
  • Marketplace for agri-business;
  • Service Point on agri-business.

Our solution

We proposed implementing a platform based around our knowledge of working with flows of information and creating simple user interfaces to access complex amounts of data. The tagging and search functions would provide the ability to organise content in multiple ways, creating an environment where content finds readers.

Users have been given a single stream of information that can be easily filtered using an intuitive interface. Each users flow of information is unique to them and contains the content that is most relevant based on their profile and the continuous interaction they have with the software platform.

The site we developed is highly adaptive, scalable and responsive and the UI guarantees that all services are available and optimized for all types of devices and bandwidth availability.

Events view: keeping track of meetings, fairs, conferences and other occasions.

Supported by AMF

For this project we chose to use the Activate Media Framework (AMF) to efficiently create a modern, dynamic, flexible platform. The framework along with a supporting set of tools gives us an enormous advantage in developing large websites that are driven by flows of information.

Given that today’s most important websites are centred on data flows; we developed a powerful aggregation engine as the heart of AMF platform. This engine, based on a flexible graph database, is designed to optimise the storage and retrieval of all types of content including: RSS, Social Media feeds, Search Results and all User-Generated data.

The aggregator uses sophisticated tagging, indexing and semantic analysis tools to allow developers to quickly create and deliver dynamic and scaleable web applications for their audiences.

With AMF, the time required to produce and maintain web properties is drastically reduced and because of the unique way in which it performs; provides freedom and flexibility for information designers and developers.

The home page: curating content generated by users and by the staff.

Some of the features of AgriProFocus.com

During our design process we developed 3 key concepts to meet users needs, which became apparent during the discovery process.

Stream

To prevent the traditional compartmentalisation of content we decided to present the user with all content unified in a single stream. We were able to achieve this through the acceptance that users are now happy to scroll. They are used to using online platforms such as Twitter and Facebook which has meant that scrolling down pages has become very intuitive and almost expected.

We implemented an algorithm prevent information overload and to offer users content based on their interests and their interaction with the platform.

Curated pages

In order to meet the very diverse needs of the community managers we created a flexible tool allowing them to merge original content with filtered streams of relevant content generated on the platform. This tool is used to create country based pages, about pages, specific topic pages using the built in tagging engine.

Wysiwyg

One of our key aims was to allow editors to create and maintain content right in the page. Thanks to modern browser technology we have provided a suite of page management tools that let users see how their changes affect the page as they make them.

Knowledge base: a dynamically organised directory of relevant information.
User stream: everything the user needs to know in one view.