Ann Degrande 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

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Experience from the East African Agricultural Extension and Rural Advisory Policy Dialogue

East Africa Policy DialogueGFRAS 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.

aesa blog june15Extension 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.

icon target Read the full AESA Blog (part 1) by Sethuraman Sivakumar, India

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.

icon pdf Full workshop report (pdf 2MB) Executive Summary (pdf 261KB)

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.

icon target The discussion end May 31.