Championing the New Extensionist
At the launch of the Ghana Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services and Support (GFAASS), GFRAS and AFAAS with support from GIZ convened a 4-day training (4-7 August) for some members of the country forum on the concept of the New Extensionist. While the primary purpose was to test the introductory module of a learning kit GFRAS is developing, this training also served as a platform to expose the participants to the on-going global debate on the changing role of agricultural extension and advisory services, and how individuals, organisations, and systems could be better equipped to deal with the challenges in agriculture.
Rural Resource Centres: A Community Approach to Agricultural Extension
In a rapidly changing world, farmers need a package of innovations and services, in addition to continuous access to knowledge and information. Having all this under one roof and in a rural setting can greatly accelerate adoption of innovations and increase benefits to farmers. Farmer training centres have been initiated by many actors, under different forms; for example, Maisons Familiales Rurales1, Songhaï Centres,2 and Agribusiness Development Centres. These initiatives focus on training young individuals and preparing them for a career in agriculture. However, they are less useful in serving the wider farming community for large scale adoption of agricultural innovations. Therefore, new models of community-based extension are under development.
Global Good Practice Note #10
Taking the ‘New Extensionist’ to the Policy Dialogue Level
Experience from the East African Agricultural Extension and Rural Advisory Policy Dialogue
GFRAS in partnership with the African Forum for Agriculture Advisory Services (AFAAS), Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS), and support from the German Technical Cooperation (GIZ) organized the East Africa Agricultural Extension and Advisory Service Policy Dialogue. Held from 16-18 June in Kampala, Uganda, with the “Towards enabling policies for the New Extensionist”, the event brought together more than 70 people from 23 countries in Africa and beyond, to discuss the status of AESA policies and the need to strengthen the capacity for policy analysis and dialogue.
New Advances in Extension Research Methodologies
Extension is a multi-disciplinary science engaged in solving complex problems in agriculture. With increasing complexities in farming, environment and social system, extension has to achieve multiple development goals ranging from sustainability to increasing farm income and enhancing sector competitiveness. In other words, extension in the current context must reinvent itself from its primary goal of “stretching out” the university science to generation, adaptation and application of new knowledge.
Extension research is the backbone of the “extension discipline”. As a “field-oriented” professional discipline, the extension research has relied heavily on exploration, facilitation and appraisal/assessment by employing qualitative and quasi-quantitative methods. The extension researchers’ perception of a “field oriented discipline” has largely affected his/her selection and use of methods, resulting in “less significant” outputs.
Though the extension research was envisaged to develop sound methods and models to help the field functionaries for effective delivery of extension services, very little progress has been made in the past six decades.
Read the full AESA Blog (part 1) by Sethuraman Sivakumar, India
West and Central Africa Network of Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services (RESCAR-AOC) launched
The workshop for the formalization of the West and Central Africa Network of Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services (RESCAR-AOC) was organised in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) from 18th to 20th February 2015 with the support of CORAF / WECARD, AFAAS and GFRAS. The objective of the workshop was to provide the RESCAR-AOC with appropriate institutional and operational tools necessary to fully bring its specific role in the successful implementation of sub-regional agricultural policies aiming at achieving sustainable development in West and Central Africa.