The United Nations announced on Wednesday it will expand the access of its agricultural information to reach 37 of the world's poorest countries. This marks the second phase of a joint United Nations-private sector initiative to fight poverty and under-development.

Access to Global Online Research in Agriculture, AGORA, was launched in 2003 to help provide students and researchers with up-to-date information which can assist them to improve the agricultural industries in their countries. This in turn, will help the countries become more economically stable as they improve farming techniques and become more efficient.

"We have seen from the first phase of this initiative that there is increasing demand for access to vital information by poorer countries,' FAO Library and Documentation Systems Division Director Anton Mangstl said. "In less than three years, AGORA has already helped bridge the knowledge gap by providing 850 institutions access to over 900 journals in the areas of agriculture and related subjects.'

Under the second phase, 37 countries with a per capita GNP of between $1000 and $3000 will be eligible. According to FAO, AGORA is working towards achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by providing essential information to improve quality of lives of those living in poverty-riddled conditions.