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Topic: Rural Development

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Agricultural Extension Services at Crossroads: present dilemma and possible solutions for future in Uganda

Agricultural extension in Uganda has undergone a number of transformations from regulatory 1920-
1956, advisory 1956-1963, advisory Education 1964-1971, dormancy 1972-1981, recovery 1982-
1999, Educational 1992-1996, participatory education 1997-1998, Decentralized Education 1997-
2001 and now Agricultural services under contract extension systems. Each of those up to 1997-
2001 had strengths to build on and weaknesses to change or improve, but had challenges of the
socio-economic and political environment. In addition there have been marked changes in the
concept of agriculture, which is increasingly seen in terms of commercial or farming for market with
emphasis on modernization of agriculture and use of participatory approaches in the process.
The dilemma is that the majority of the Ugandan farming community is predominately
peasantry/subsistence with a small fraction that can be regarded emergent farmers. Such
population may not respond sustainably to the now farmer owned contract extension system
including changing patterns of donors.
The paper examines a range of issues including training needs, identification of theses needs for
more relevant and responsive curricula, the key role of service provider’s development in creating
learning organizations, developing a strategy for linkages/ learning webs or net works and for more
sustainable donor interventions.

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TOWARDS THE FUTURE WE WANT End hunger and make the transition to sustainable agricultural and food systems

Improving agricultural and food systems is essential for a world with healthier people and healthier ecosystems. Healthy and productive lives cannot be achieved unless “all people at all times have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and
healthy life” (FAO, 1996). Healthy ecosystems must be resilient and productive, and provide the goods and services needed to meet current societal needs and desires without jeopardizing the options for future generations to benefit from the full range of goods and services provided by terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems. There are very strong linkages between the conditions to achieve universal food security and nutrition, responsible environmental stewardship and greater fairness in food  management. They intersect in agricultural and food systems at the global, national and local levels.

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Towards global governance of food security

Can the new food governance system and strategic thinking on food security and rural development, prompted by the 2007–09 food “crisis”, prevent future crises and lead to the lasting eradication of hunger?