The Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services GFRAS is about enhancing the performance of advisory services so that they can better serve farm families and rural producers, thus contributing to improved livelihoods in rural areas and the sustainable reduction of hunger and poverty. Rural advisory services help to empower farmers and better integrate them in systems of agricultural innovation. The GFRAS structure reaches smallholder farmers via the regional rural advisory services networks, which are made up of national-level platforms. The national platforms include actors from all sectors working in rural advisory services, and work directly with smallholders. National platforms help prioritise national-level issues and formulate demands to be taken to the regional and global levels.
Vision & Mission
Our vision is for rural advisory services to effectively contribute to agricultural innovation systems for sustainable development.
Our mission is to provide advocacy and leadership on pluralistic and demand-driven rural advisory services for sustainable development.
Strategic fields of action
To achieve its mission and vision, GFRAS focuses on four strategic fields of action, discussed below. In doing so, it pursues outcomes (changes in behaviour) related to the enabling environment, institutions and organisations (focusing on regional networks as the core of the forum), and human resource development (individual capacities).
Strategic field 1: Advocacy and support for an enabling policy environment and appropriate investment in rural advisory services
Strategic field 2: Professionalisation of rural advisory services
Strategic field 3: Facilitation and enhancement of effective and continuous knowledge generation and exchange
Strategic field 4: Network strengthening
Many challenges exist in agriculture and rural development today, including food price crises, natural resource depletion, changing and uncertain markets, environmental degradation, and climate change. Countries worldwide are affected, regardless of their social, economic, or political status. Additionally, in spite of national and international development efforts, there is still persistent rural poverty, and global nutrition challenges. Rural advisory services are fundamental to supporting people to deal with existing and new challenges, and to improve the livelihoods of rural people worldwide.
Joint Operational Plan 2021-2025
This Operational Plan is built on a common vision and mission for both GFRAS and YPARD given that both global networks work towards advancing agri-food systems that ensure sustainable livelihoods through supporting specific actors. More specifically, YPARD and GFRAS seek to ensure that young people and rural advisory services respectively, fully contribute towards innovative agri-food systems. The joint mission is to enable and empower specific actors especially women in contributing to the envisaged sustainable agri-food systems. In this respect, YPARD targets young agricultural leaders whereas GFRAS picks out actors related to demand-driven RAS delivery. Through our collaboration, we will utilize network and institutional synergies to work on the empowerment of and the enabling environment for these envisaged actors.
You can download the complete Operational Plan for this period here:
In 2021, GFRAS registered as an independent association in Switzerland. The statutes of the GFRAS Association can be found here: