Extension services are essential to enable farmers to improve their practices and help them respond to emerging challenges. Knowledge, ideas, and skills gained through extension programmes can help farmers increase their productivity, reduce losses, and gain better access to markets.
The positive impact of extension services is well demonstrated globally. Whether through Farmer Field Schools, marketing training, or by using innovative technologies, knowledge sharing underpins sustainable agricultural practices.
The examples illustrate the importance of participatory processes and farmers’ proactive participation in extension programmes to ensure they meet their needs. The case studies highlight the diversity of issues that can be tackled through extension and advisory services, and the positive impacts these can have on farmers’ livelihoods. In many cases, extension services are an addition to existing structures, such as farmer co-operatives, and are offered as part of a package of services. This helps to ensure that the positive outcomes from extension, such as increased yields, can be translated into positive outcomes for farmers, for example by supporting the marketing of the improved crops.