The Asian Federation for Information Technology in Agriculture, AFITA was founded in January 24, 1998 in Wakayama City, Japan when the First Asian Conference for Information Technology in Agriculture was held. The purpose of the conference was as follows;
Though the population on the earth has not been really exploded yet, we can see clues of food crisis; that is, the lack of food in some of the developing countries is chronic and even major powers are facing the difficulties to balance the productivity and the environmental requirement. As the balance of the food supply and demand is now inevitably under the strategy of the world trading mechanism and the control of the power, it is almost meaningless to solve the crisis within a country. Only the international sharing and cooperation for sustainable food productivity on the basis of information sharing and mutual understanding could bring the solution.
We believe that the information technology can surely contribute to the solution. First, the information communication technology such as the Internet that is now dynamically changing our life style and social consciousness, will provide us a best tool for the information sharing and mutual communication. Second, we should not forget the possible contribution of information science to effective and stable production by several models such as crop growth prediction and decision support. Thus, the importance of the studies on agroinformatics is undoubtedly increasing.
The Asian countries are keeping the highest growth rate in the world and the requirement on food is abruptly changing from quantity to quality. In addition, the Asian countries have their individual agricultural features that are not common in the USA or EU countries. The rice-dependency and the farming scale are the typical examples. In this conference, sharing such common features, researchers, engineers, administrators and farmers who are interested in the informatization of the Asian and world agriculture, will join together, exchange information and discuss about agroinformatics which will help us e to find some key points to solve the world-wide food problems.
This spirit is still alive and our AFITA should be devoted for it.