Long-term preservation of agricultural reports is important in the nation’s development. As the lead agency in agricultural development, the Department of Agriculture and Livestock (DAL) has to move forward in managing and preserving its documents, especially land use survey reports, which can be accessible to clients and other stakeholders.
DAL’s Deputy Secretary for Technical Services, Francis Daink, made the remarks when opening a recent two-week training workshop on digitisation of land use reports. DAL officers from Information and Publication and Science and Technology branches, including two officers from Education Department’s National Archives Office, were participating in the workshop, coordinated by the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau of the Australian National University and DAL.
DAL, with the technical assistance of the Pacific Manuscripts Bureau, which copies archives, manuscripts and rare printed material to Pacific countries, are working on a project aimed at digitising all land use survey reports. This workshop will enable the participants to be given hands-on training on reformatting archival materials using digital and microfilm cameras.
Mr Daink, on behalf of the Secretary, said the preservation of important agricultural reports through the digitisation process may mean that DAL can make the digital images widely available, increasing accessibility. Digitisation may be undertaken to increase accessibility and use of records, but it can also reduce storage and additional costs. This will also be important as these reports in digital form can be properly stored at the National Archives.
He said DAL as the lead agency in agriculture development has an important role in promoting agriculture and must provide this vital information service to its clients. He said DAL’s clients and other stakeholders will be able to view the past reports which will be kept in digital form.
Mr Daink said this was an important training workshop for DAL staff who can also use the knowledge and skills to look at preservation and digitisation of other important agricultural reports and documents, including sections of its library and publications.
The workshop participants were also given an opportunity to visit the National Land Titles Commission and National Lands Commission to observe the current digitisation project being carried out.