There is growing global interest in better leveraging Agricultural Extension Services (AES) as a foundation for food and nutrition security. Pluralistic AES (defined in Box 1) consist of rural, agriculturally focused extension and advisory services implemented by public, NGO, and private-sector entities. They reach millions of farmers and represent largely untapped potential for influencing production and consumption decisions which could, in turn, affect the health and nutrition status of populations, particularly in rural areas. Their specific contributions, however, are only beginning to be articulated and evaluated.
This discussion paper addresses the specific contribution that AES can make to food and nutrition security in a way that is consistent with AES’s primary functions. It is particularly focused on the scope of the INGENAES project and the context of the Feed the Future countries within which the project operates.