There are few global examples of validated national agricultural extension policies. Policies that affect the provision of agricultural extension and advisory services are more typically written in the larger context of policies for the agricultural sector overall. As an extension professional, you are at the forefront of making development happen. You, therefore, constantly encounter situations where existing policy constraints development interventions or where new policies could better support development. While policy is not your day-to-day function, you are in better position to generate evidence in order to inform good policies and organise the relevant stakeholders in articulating policy needs to the relevant authorities.
In this module you will first learn about rural advisory services (RAS) in agricultural innovation systems (AIS) and the basics of monitoring and evaluating RAS in order to understand the role of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in RAS and its basic principles and uses. You will also learn how M&E can be used to improve the policies and practices of RAS, what the current main global challenges are, and finally what this means for the M&E of RAS interventions such as reform processes, developing RAS organisations, or delivering a particular RAS service.
After completing the module, you will be able to enable, implement, and use M&E for documentation, accountability, and internal learning in RAS systems and organisations, as well as for particular RAS interventions.
Over the past 30 years, there has been a major shift in agricultural markets and the international trade of agricultural products. The world is moving from local and national markets towards a global system of trading, which means that neighbouring farmers working on small plots of land may be competing with large industrial farmers from another country in a single marketplace.
This module familiarises extensionists with the key terms and concepts required to introduce agricultural entrepreneurship to farmers, farmer groups and agricultural businesses and to support improved productivity and market engagement. The module provides a practical approach to improving the knowledge, skills and attitudes of extension agents as they seek to help the farming community take on new enterprise skills.
The purpose of this module on marketing and value chain development is to help extension agents, who are new to working with markets, understand the basic components of marketing and value chains. This module will also focus on the way in which extension agents can work with farmers and other key chain actors to target market opportunities and to develop an action plan that farmers can use to engage with markets successfully.
In this practical part of the module, you will be familiarised with the use of market analysis tools and value chain upgrading strategies, as well the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in value chains services.
The purpose of this module is to help extension agents, who are new to working with markets, understand the basic components of marketing value chains and the way in which extension agents can work with farmers and other key chain actors to target market opportunities and to develop an action plan that farmers can use to engage with markets successfully.
In the theoretical part of the module the focus is on the importance of agricultural marketing for farmers, the analysis of the agricultural market and the value chain, as well as market linkage methods.