Farmers, agri-business and service providers have to innovate continuously to adapt to an ever-changing environment (including markets, climate and resources). Innovation is about putting ideas that are new to a certain location into practice, and in this way changing the situation of those living
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.
Improved availability of, and access to, information and communication technologies (ICTs) – especially mobile phones, computers, radio, internet, and social media – has provided many more opportunities for collection, processing, storage, retrieval, managing, and sharing of information in
The Community Knowledge Worker CKW system, a type of farmer-to-farmer extension, involves local networks of farmer-to-farmer peers serving as information intermediaries. They use smartphones and other information and communication technologies (ICTs) to reach fellow farmers with
Social media refers to the web-based tools and media that allow users to personally and informally interact, create, share, retrieve, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Social media includes social networking sites, blogs and
Agriculture is the largest employer in the world, providing livelihoods for the majority of the world’s poorest people. As the backbone of many developing country economies, agricultural development becomes synonymous with global development. Research and development efforts to
In the last few decades, information and communication technologies (ICTs) have provided immense opportunities for the social and economic development of rural people, and some technologies have surpassed others. Mobile telephony is one such technology that has developed
Radio is considered one of the oldest information technologies, and is one of the most popular in the developing world, partly due to its accessibility and affordability. While many rural people own a radio, those who do not may access programming through family, friends, or neighbours.
Markets for agricultural products with special quality, environmental, and social attributes can provide a profitable outlet for poor farmers in developing countries. However, participation in high value markets requires that farmers commit to deliver pre-identified
Field Schools (FFS) is a group-based adult learning approach that teaches farmers how to experiment and solve problems independently. Sometimes called “schools without walls”, in FFS groups of farmers meet regularly with a facilitator, observe, talk, ask questions, and learn together. Farmer
The overall purpose of farmer study circles (FSCs) is to create learning, capacity, and empowerment among small-scale farmers. FSCs are part of a multitude of approaches to agricultural extension for groups of farmers that are based on adult learning principles.
The rapid spread of television (TV) channels offers a unique opportunity to disseminate knowledge via private and public information systems to millions of farmers within a short period of time. When agricultural themes and messages are woven into entertaining shows that use popular
Farmers and extension workers face a constant challenge in managing plant health problems. Biotic causes (pests and diseases) and abiotic causes such as low soil fertility lead to regular and often significant losses in crop production and quality. Diagnosis is made difficult by a
An extension campaign is a coordinated effort to inform many farmers in a relatively short period of time about an agricultural topic of widespread concern or interest. The aim is to achieve quick, large-scale change in farmer behaviour and practices through carefully choreographed efforts by
Extension advisory services (EAS) support smallholders to improve the productivity and efficiency of their farms and to take decisions on the outlook of their business. Extension advisory services include not only government extension services, but also services organised and funded by
Men often have priority when it comes to food: they may eat before everyone else and enjoy the most nutritious food. Women and children can be left with smaller portions and less nutritious meals. This exposes women and girls to a range of harmful physical and emotional health outcomes.
Smallholder farmers in developing countries face a number of challenges that impact their productivity and contribution to food security. These include lack of access to financial services (credit, savings, and micro-insurance) and limited access to rural advisory
Enabling Rural Innovation (ERI) is a participatory approach that puts family farmers in the centre of agricultural development. It strengthens their technical, organisational, social and entrepreneurial capacities to shift from subsistence to market–oriented
Videos, especially digital ones, are a relatively new technology. Videos may help to meet the challenges of disseminating information to farmers and reaching the poor, marginalised, women, and young people. Some uses of video in agriculture include raising awareness,
Following the decline of investments in government extension services in the 1980s and 1990s, community- based extension approaches have become increasingly important. One such approach is farmer-to-farmer extension (F2FE), which is defined here as the provision of training by farmers to farmers, often