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.
The role of Agricultural Innovation Systems in Central Asia and Caucasus countries and China towards more sustainable food security and nutrition
This online discussion is initiated by the Central Asia and the Caucasus Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (CACAARI) in close collaboration with the Northwest Agriculture & Forest University (NAFU) in China and supported by FAO’s Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition in Europe and Central Asia (FSN Forum in ECA).
The purpose of this cross-regional online discussion is to offer stakeholders an opportunity to share their experience, knowledge and regional good practices on strengthening Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) in the Central Asia and Caucasus (CAC) countries and China.
The discussion end May 31.
Mekong Extension Learning Alliance established
Participants of the SDC Face-to-Face Workshop "Reaching the Millions", held in March 2015 in Hanoi, Vietnam, have agreed to establish the Mekong Extension Learning Alliance, or MELA. The name MELA is very appropriate for this network, being a Sanskirt word meaning ‘a gathering’ or ‘large meeting’.
The Mekong River passes through five countries in South East Asia: Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Agricultural extension and rural advisory services in this Region have many features in common. Investment, trade, expertise and labour are flowing from one country to another, while social and environmental impacts are also crossing national boundaries. Representatives from Laos have agreed to convene the first meeting of MELA in August this year with support from the LURAS project . Meanwhile, the representatives from Vietnam agreed to create a Facebook Page as a channel of communication . Those from Cambodia and Myanmar will act as focal points for their countries, and invitations will also be sent to relevant organisations in Thailand, which were not represented at the workshop in Hanoi.
Hanoi Statement on Rural Advisory Service Systems
The Hanoi statement was elaborated in the frame of the SDC face-to-face workshop “Reaching the Millions”, in March 2015 in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is the synthesis of the discussions, intensive group work and priorisation exercises, which took place during this six-daylong learning event. The starting point for these discussions was the results of seven studies on RAS projects and country RAS systems in Asia, as well as the experience of the 68 gathered RAS experts.
Current RAS systems are pluralistic : A multitude of service providers interacts with agricultural producers, and these service providers are funded from various sources. The purpose of the Hanoi statement is to increase the capacity of future pluralistic RAS systems to reach out to a large number of agricultural producers (“Reaching the Millions”) in a poverty oriented, ecological, and sustainable way. To this aim, the statement describes identified core aspects of RAS systems and defines the factors that are supporting them. Based on the core aspects, it provides recommendations on how development cooperation can contribute to strengthen RAS systems.
Hanoi Statement (pdf 62KB)