Education Knowledge

Posted March 2000

Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems for Rural Development (AKIS/RD)


Many farmers fail to benefit from technological and other advances. In too many countries, the productivity and incomes of the poorer farmers have stagnated or even decreased. This is not solely due to a lack of investment in education, research or extension. It can also be traced to a number of other causes, such as poorly functioning markets for inputs, products, or credit. But it does seem to be generally true that the existing AKIS/RD institutions have not realized their full potential. They have not been responsive enough in addressing the problems and opportunities facing farmers.

In response to the above, a group of technical staff of FAO and the World Bank concerned with agricultural education, research and extension - and their integration into rural development systems - worked together towards the development of a Strategic Vision and Guiding Principles for AKIS/RD.

What is an AKIS/RD?

An AKIS/RD is a system that links rural people and institutions to promote mutual learning and generate, share and utilize agriculture-related technology, knowledge and information. The system integrates farmers, agricultural educators, researchers and extensionists to harness knowledge and information from various sources for better farming and improved livelihoods. This integration is suggested by the "knowledge triangle" displayed here.

The AKIS/RD vision document is intended as a vehicle for sharing ideas and principles with the various stakeholders addressing the causes, and for seeking solutions for rural poverty. Operational guidelines, inspired by this shared vision and consistent with the principles outlined here, are under preparation by the World Bank and FAO.

For further information please contact Ester.Zulberti@fao.org


Strategic Vision and Guiding Principles for AKIS/RD
Download full document (PDF, 1.2MB)

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