AGRIS is the international information system for the agricultural sciences and technology. It was created by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1974, to facilitate information exchange and to identify world literature dealing with all aspects of agriculture.

A total of 159 national and 31 international/intergovernmental centres participate in the system, and submit about 10.000 items per month reflecting the production of agricultural information in their countries.

The system  collects bibliographic references (to date, about 3 million)  to either conventional (journal articles, books) or non-conventional materials (sometimes called "grey literature" e.g. theses, reports, etc.,) not available through normal commercial channels.

FAO’s member countries have specifically asked the Organization to give priority to national capacity building.  The end result will be the development and strengthening of  national agricultural information management programmes using Internet-based technologies. Instead of sending bibliographic references to FAO,  participants to the envisaged new system  will make their references, data  and full-text information accessible on the Web, and  access  increasingly diverse information themselves.  FAO's role will be to assist countries in reaching the goal of self-sufficiency in information management and to ensure information exchange between national and regional systems.

This CD contains the AGRIS dataset from 1998;  the entire, updated AGRIS database is also available on the Internet  In addition, the latest Multilingual Agricultural Thesaurus AGROVOC, is now accessible on the Internet  at

About the development team
The work was organised and conducted by Mr. H. Rybinski of the Institute for Computer Information and Engineering (, and backstopped by Mr. S. Katz of FAO. Two teams - conducted by Mr. G. Blinowski and Mr. M. Muraszkiewicz - designed, implemented and tuned the products over 4 months in order to fully meet the project specification.

All comments and remarks are welcome at

About the software
The system uses the UNESCO software Micro-CDS/ISIS as a database engine. The CD ROM database can be also accessed  by any other ISIS family software.