The New Extensionist: Core Competencies for Individuals
The latest GFRAS brief in the 'New Extensionist'-initiative calls for the reform of curricula and learning materials. It urges decision makers to better balance the training of extension professionals between technical and functional competencies. It promotes the idea of the “extension professional,” and the need for professional associations where extension professionals can exchange experiences and gain new knowledge. Through this brief we aim to influence the direction of pre-service education and training for new staff, and the strengthening the competencies of existing staff (in-service training).
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.