What is SNAIN?:

Sudan National Agricultural Information Network (SNAIN) is a network of professionals, institutions development partners and other stakeholders involved in the generation, dissemination and utilization of agricultural information in the Sudan.


The vision of SNAIN is to be dynamic and proactive. All SNAIN activities grow from a belief that high-quality agricultural information and knowledge management is a prerequisite for economic growth.


The mission of SNAIN is to promote the provision and sustainable management of client-oriented agricultural information and knowledge throughout Sudan. Its particular emphasis is on the strengthening of national capacities to generate, access, exchange, package, disseminate, and utilize this information and knowledge to further economic growth.


The goal of SNAIN is to contribute to enhanced productivity, value addition and competitiveness of the national, regional and international agricultural information and knowledge systems, networks and initiatives.

Strategic Objectives (purpose):

The strategic objectives of SNAIN is to enhance the utilization of information and knowledge for national, regional and international agricultural research and development.

Core Values:

  1. Nation wide coverage
  2. Value-addition
  3. Partnerships
  4. Professionalism
  5. Accountability
  6. Flexibility
  7. Team spirit
  8. Gender equity


The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), ), is a not-for-profit sub-regional organization of the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) of 11 member countries, namely: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. ASARECA brings together scientists from the national agricultural research institutions of the member countries, national agricultural extension service providers and other strategic development oriented partners to generate, share and promote knowledge and innovations to solve common challenges facing agriculture in the member countries.


ASARECA Regional Agricultural Information network, ASARECA/RAIN began operations in 2003 though its history goes back to 1993 where is started with some workshops. However, its predecessor implementing arm was the AfricaLink project, now part of RAIN, which started in 1996. The main objective of AfricaLink was to improve access to agricultural information by integrating new Internet technologies into the ICM operations of research networks and systems in the ECA region. AfricaLink has had several notable successes especially with respect to internet connectivity and training on web design.


In late July 2003, RAIN organized a stakeholder workshop in Nairobi, Kenya. The objectives of the workshop were to identify RAIN project priorities and to agree on next steps. Participants included thirty-four (34) representatives of farmer groups, extension organizations, private sector ICM providers, NGOs, government ministries/departments, regional development agencies, and international organization from the ten ASARECA member countries.

As background the RAIN management team had commissioned three studies.

  • On Information and Communication Technology and Management (ICT/ICM). The objective was to describe the current status of agricultural information in the ECA region.
  • On Constraints. The objective was to identify and analyze constraints on development of new agricultural information activities.
  • On Existing ICT/ICM initiatives. The objective was to review and evaluate ongoing national, regional, and international activities of relevance to future RAIN programmes.

Based on these papers, the RAIN team identified ten preliminary “project ideas” that it presented at the workshop. Participants reviewed them and finally agreed on a list of nine thematic priorities which were further reduced to six in a follow-up workshop of stakeholders (SH) held in November 2003. The six broader priority sub-themes were:

  1. Enhanced skills in ICM/ICT
  2. Improved access to current agricultural information
  3. Improved generation of new agricultural content
  4. Improved targeting and distribution of information to different categories of user
  5. Sustainable financing for agricultural information
  6. A harmonized strategic and policy environment for agricultural information

Coordinating Unit and RSC:

RAIN is managed by a Coordinating Unit. A Regional Steering Committee (RSC) provides policy and technical guidance to the RAIN Coordinating Unit. The specific asks of the RSC are to:

  • Represent the CD in sunning the network
  • Prepare reports for the CD
  • Provide leadership in designing the programme portfolio-guide technical agenda of RAIN
  • Provide policy guidance for the network
  • Provide leadership in planning, allocation of resources and skills
  • Screening and prioritizing project proposals
  • Monitor RAIN’s activities
  • Develop strategies and advise on funding of network activities
  • Oversee progaramme implementation at regional level
  • Ensure effective coordination of the network

Members of the RSC are drawn from:

  • Representatives of National Agricultural Research Institutes of the 10 ASARECA countries.
  • Experts from ASARECA countries representing specialist skills.
  • Ex-officio members are drawn from: CTA, FAO, ASARECA secretariat, representatives of ASARECA NPPs and donors.

The RAIN RSC has a chairperson vice chairperson, committee members and task force. The methodology for electing these members is annual.

National Steering Committees (NSCs):

RAIN plans to establish ten National Steering Committees, one in each of the ten ECA member countries. The chairperson of each is a member of the RSC. A NSC oversees project implementation and monitoring at the national level.

A major objective of this workshop is to establish the Sudan National Agricultural Information network (SNAIN) and to elect a National Steering Committee (NSC) that takes the lead in the development of a national agricultural information strategy as well as programmes and projects pertinent to meeting its mission and overall objectives. These should serve the national priorities as well as being consistent with RAIN priorities which were developed and approved by the RAIN Regional Steering Committee of which Sudan is a member.

To achieve the elements within ASARECA goal and objective SNAIN, as a national agricultural information network, will endeavor to accomplish the following tasks:

  • National capacity in information and communication management enhanced.
  • Mechanisms for the national harmonization of information developed and applied.
  • National information to support agricultural research and development generated.
  • Access to information for research and development improved.
  • Policy environment for agricultural information enhanced.

Expected outcome of SNAIN workshop 2004:

  1. National awareness of SNAIN and its strategic objective.
  2. National needs and priorities agreed upon.
  3. Nationally coordinated information activities identified.
  4. National Steering Committee established with clear TOR


Participants will be drawn from all major stakeholder groups involved mainly in agricultural information and relevant sectors within Sudan. These include:

  • Supporters of agricultural information and knowledge development in Sudan
  • Producers of information and knowledge
  • Consumers of information and knowledge

SNAIN is a forum in which supporters, producers and consumers of agricultural information and knowledge in Sudan come together. In this meeting participants representing farmers’ group, extension organization, private sector ICT/ICM service providers, NGOs, Federal and State Government Ministries/ Departments, international and regional development agencies, and representatives from ASARECA and RAIN Coordination Unit.

The SNAIN Coordination Unit (CU):

SNAIN is hosted by ARC – Sudan, which provides administrative support to it. The Unit consists of a Coordinator (NSC Coordinator) and supporting staff. The Coordination unit is responsible for the day-to-day management of the network. The Coordinator also reports regularly to ARC Higher Administration and partners on the progress of SNAIN.

Membership of the National Steering Committee (NSC):

Members are drawn from the first general meeting in 2004 of the stakeholders and membership could be renewed through the subsequent annually scheduled meetings. Members Represents:

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Ministry Science and Technology
  • Agricultural service administrations – State ministries of Agriculture
  • Agricultural schemes and projects
  • Farmers unions
  • Pastoralist unions
  • Agricultural industry
  • Agricultural research institutions
  • Information institutes and experts
  • Agricultural education institutes
  • Regional and international agricultural development agencies
  • Policy makers
  • IT providers and experts
  • National agricultural information and knowledge networks and initiatives