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1 Modern agricultural extension has grown to what may be the largest institutional development effort ever known (Jones and Garforth, 1997). Ministries of agriculture, universities, or research institutions employ more than 600, 000 extension agents; hundreds of thousands of technicians have been trained; and hundreds of millions of farmers have had contact with extension services (FAO 1989).

2 The World Bank has made an effort to bring extension and technical services together via an internal committee known as SASKI (Sustainable Agriculture Systems, Knowledge and Information).

3 Extension has proven to be successful when a clear-cut mission exists; constraints in the external environment are taken into account; there is access to available information; internal technical capacity exists; methodologies are balanced and re-enforcing; the internal management system provides for personnel motivation, supervision, reporting, delegation of authority, and regular plans of work; farmers are involved in problem identification and interactive in setting programmes and securing feedback; adequate funds are budgeted for programme operations; clear structural and organizational lines of authority exist; and no roles or functions conflict with the primary mission.

4 "Third sector" refers to non-governmental, non-profit and community organizations and civil society.

5 An integrated food security system might seek to utilize the third sector to target especially remote or destitute segments of the rural population.

6 Livelihoods support programmes are not new. FAO's Livelihoods Support Programme favours integrated, flexible, demand-responsive teams to help reduce poverty and food insecurity. This programme seeks to assist poor people by building on their strengths, skills, assets and potential, rather than viewing them as a liability or a drain on resources. In essence, a sustainable livelihoods approach to rural poverty reduction implies: putting poor people at the centre of development processes, viewing participation as crucial, improving access by the poor to different forms of capital (human, social, financial, physical and natural) to better their livelihoods, increasing the flexibility and dynamism of programme and project response, focusing on micro-macro linkages, promoting inter-disciplinarity, and encouraging broad-based partnerships (FAO 2002E).

7 FAO has classified over 70 farming systems into eight broad categories and devised five main household strategies to improve livelihoods (Dixon, Gulliver and Gibbon 2001). In sum, these are: (1) intensification of existing production patterns; (2) diversification of production and processing; (3) expanded farm or herd size; (4) increased off-farm income, both agricultural and non-agricultural; and (5) a complete exit from the agricultural sector within a particular farming system. As the latter two strategies suggest, the FSA and the LSA agree in certain respects and have much in common.

8 See "The role of agriculture in the development of LDCs and their integration into the world economy" (FAO 2002) for review of FAO Technical Assistance to Agriculture in the LDCs.

9 SPFS has expanded rapidly, with participating countries rising from 15 in 1995 to over 70 in 2002, and the amount of funds available increasing from US$3. 5 million to over US$500 million, more than half of which has been committed by developing countries (FAO 2003).

10 The Evaluation Team made 24 recommendations, including that FAO introduce greater flexibility into the programme, sharpen the focus on household food security, document evidence of the uptake of demonstrated technologies, increase the effort devoted to food security mapping, etc.

11 For discussion of "Post-Harvest Losses: Discovering the Full Story" (Grolleaud, M. 1999), see:

12 Food security is a special kind of public good and in rural areas may require physical infrastructure such as road and power infrastructures, property security, and access to systems of market-based exchange, in addition to public investment in research and extension and related communication systems. It may also require the removal of various constraints, as emphasized by the FAO SPFS (2000).

13 Cited by J. Berdegu during seminar on "Territorial Rural Development, " FAO/UN, 27 March. 2003.

14 Community-driven development (CDD) is a World Bank initiative to decentralize financing of rural development.

15 Countries making national efforts to establish nationwide food security programmes include: Algeria, Bolivia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Venezuela. Brazil has set itself the goal of eradicating hunger within four years through its Programme Fome Zero (Zero Hunger Programme). See: and

16 In addition, it should be remembered that considerable monies enter rural areas from remissions by relatives abroad, many of who have migrated specifically for that purpose.

17 Roughly three-quarters of the population is rural, and nearly two-thirds of these people are vulnerable or food insecure. In urban and peri-urban areas, the proportion of vulnerable people is about 10 percent; many in this category are new rural migrants seeking a better life. The six vulnerable groups are (1) small farmers in eastern transitional areas, (2) small farmers in northern lowlands and highlands, (3) small farmers in western volcanic lands, transitional lands and highlands, (4) small farmers on southern coastal plains, (5) artisanal fishing communities on Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and (6) temporary workers in poor quarters and slums of Guatemala City and its periphery. Within each group, homogenous subgroups can be distinguished, some more food insecure than others.

18 Triage (Bryceson 2000):"the principle or practice of allocating limited resources, as food or foreign aid, on a basis of expediency rather than according to moral principles or the needs of the recipients".

19 An extension programme to construct on-farm storage bins was started by FAO-supported public extension services in Zambia in the early 1990s. Storage of maize at that time was disastrously handled by government services, which stored stacks of 90-kilo bags of maize out of doors under tarpaulins. As a result of this wasteful procedure, Zambia was continually forced to import maize from other countries. Zambia's Agricultural Investment Programme currently provides (with donor assistance) matching grants to groups of farmers for building on-farm infrastructure.

20 See FAO's The State of Food Insecurity in the World for report on national and global efforts to reach WFS goal to reduce by half the number of undernourished people in the world by the year 2015.

21 Neoclassical economics predicts that liberalise markets will allow smallholders to advance, but the theory, according to Jonathan Kydd (2002), overlooks serious institutional deficiencies, including inadequate access to information, contractual enforcement and finance, that constrain smallholders from full participation.

22 TECA is a web-based platform for a network of decentralised technology databases or repositories. TECA uses a standard field structure (metadata standard including Document Type Definition) to describe agricultural technologies, for easy information exchange between repositories. It uses Extended Markup Language (XML) for data import and export. TECA works in different server environments and with different databases, or just as a local stand-alone application. TECA facilitates the transfer of technologies across similar environments by categorizing technologies according to global and regional farming systems.

23 The FAO Methodological Guide for Designing and Implementing a Multimedia Communication Strategy (FAO 2002D) outlines the process of drawing up and applying a multimedia communication strategy and provides frameworks for planning, monitoring and evaluating such a strategy.

24 An integrated multi-sectoral network for food security may involve various public sector agencies (e.g., ministries of agriculture, health, transportation, public works and local government), private sector for-profit organizations (e.g., companies, producer organizations and consulting firms), and "third sector" organizations (e.g., NGOsl, non-profit community and civil society associations), as well as lending and donor organizations committed to alleviating and radically reducing food insecurity.

25 Public goods are goods that are available to all and are not diminished in their availability even when consumed. A traffic light is an example of a pure public good. The safety that traffic lights offer to drivers and pedestrians is available to all who drive or walk on public streets and sidewalks, so it is non-excludable. It is also non-subtractable because the safety offered to one person does not diminish the safety provided to others crossing the same street or to drivers at the same intersection. Certain goods are neither entirely public nor non-public (that is, goods that are neither completely non-subtractable nor non-excludable), such as food security, but take on the quality of a public good (Paarlberg 2002).

26 "The agricultural sector is at the heart of the economies of the least-developed countries (LDCs). It accounts for a large share of gross domestic product (GDP) (ranging from 30 to 60 percent in about two thirds of them), employs a large proportion of the labour force (from 40 percent to as much as 90 percent in most cases), represents a major source of foreign exchange (from 25 percent to as much as 95 percent in three quarters of the countries), supplies the bulk of basic food and provides subsistence and other income to more than half of the LDC's population. The strong forward and backward linkages within the rural sector and with other sectors of the economy provide added stimulus for growth and income generation (FAO 2002F), if and when they are in place (Eaton and Shepherd 2001).

27 The term ''extension/communication" is used to underline the importance of interactive communication in the extension process.

28 Contracting for Extension (Rivera and Zijp 2002) provides a comprehensive set of case studies on private provision of publicly financed services. In contracting for extension, services are controlled by government and therefore not sustainable on their own.

29 Sven Sandstrom, Managing Director of the World Bank (1995): Opening Remarks to the Fourteenth Agriculture Sector Symposium; IN: D. Umali and C. Maguire (Eds. ), Agriculture in Liberalizing Economies: Changing Roles for Governments. Proceedings. Washington, DC: The World Bank.

30 The Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development (AIARD) and the Inter-american Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) have published a compendium on Food: The Whole World's Business, edited by Reed Hertford and Susan Schram, that bring together 46 case studies to show how and why investing in international agriculture and food systems development is of mutual benefit for the United States and developing countries.

31 Case studies and reports might be more standardized or at least respond to a common set of questions. Questions might include: What were the innovations or reforms introduced? How did the reform, innovation or development evolve? Who delivers the services being provided? What are the costs of the programme? Who pays for the services being provided? Who administers the services being provided? What specific services are provided? What is delivered? What type of information? How are the services provided? What methods are used (face-to-face, media, electronics)? What have been the results so far? In general, how does the reform, innovation, etc. affect rural development, poverty alleviation, and food security? What, if any, are the impacts on the socio-economic situation of the service recipients? How do policymakers and stakeholders view the services? What lessons have been learned?

32 Field schools for Kenyan dairy farmers (by B. Minjauw, H. G. Muriuki, and D. Romney) in LEISA (Magazine on Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture, 19:1, March 2003, p. 8-13.

33 Leadership involves not only executive leaders, but also networkers (front-line workers, in-house consultants, trainers, and professional staff who spread ideas throughout and outside the organization) and local line leaders (branch managers, project team leaders, and other front-line performers).

34 For a comprehensive model, complemented by a PowerPoint presentation for "planning and evaluating collaborative research and extension" see the University of Kentucky web site,

35 The Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT) in Latin America has developed farmer-run Comités de Investigación Agrícola Local (CIAL). Communities elect a committee of farmers chosen for their interest in research and willingness to serve. The CIAL conducts research on priority topics identified through a diagnostic process, in which all are invited to participate. Each committee has a small fund to offset the costs and risks of research and is supported by a trained facilitator until it has matured enough to manage the process independently.

36 William, S. and Karen, R. (1985). Agribusiness and the Small-Scale Farmers: A Dynamic Partnership for Development. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

37 Agriculture is used here as well as throughout the paper in the broadest sense to mean crops, livestock, forestry, trees, and fisheries.

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