Natural Resources
     and Environment

News, Publications & Announcements

January 2001
2001/1

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For related information, see the following theme pages: -Land Tenure  
January 2001
Mushroom cultivation for people with disabilities- A training manual

This publication from the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) addresses the experiences of a training programme for disabled farmers in the poor north eastern region of Thailand.

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For related information, see the following theme pages: -Research & Extension  
January 2001
Agricultural and rural extension worldwide: Options for institutional reform in the developing countries

The initiatives in this publication draw on recent agricultural extension reform measures introduced in several high-income, middle-income and low-income countries. The focus, however, is on reform measures that promote food security and poverty alleviation among small-holders in low-income countries. The initiatives are broadly envisaged as applications in the principals set out in the FAO/World Bank document on Strategic Vision and Guiding Principles (2000) for promoting Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems for Rural Development (AKIS/RD), and other frameworks emphasizing the changing extension environment (Neuchâtel 1999). The AKIS/RD vision calls for institutional reforms involving pluralism, cost recovery, privatization, decentralization and subsidiarity, with an emphasis on participatory approaches. These reforms constitute the main menu of options discussed in this paper. They include both market and non-market reforms. The FAO Extension, Education and Communication Service (SDRE) has begun exploring these initiatives to reform extension in the Philippines, Iran, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Eritrea, Mozambique, Uganda, Yemen, and other countries, some of them in collaboration with the FAO Investment Centre Division (TCI) and the World Bank. The results of these efforts highlight the interest of policymakers in the developing countries to pursue extension institutional reform.

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For related information, see the following theme pages: -Research & Extension  
January 2001
Integrating Food security Issues into Agricultural Research

The mandate to develop these guidelines resulted from the World Food Summit Plan of Action. Objective 3.4 of Commitment Three in the Summit's Plan of Action stated that "governments, in collaboration with the international and scientific community, in both private and public sectors, as appropriate, will strengthen national research systems in order to develop coordinated programmes in support of research to promote food security". In identifying how this might be done, FAO, the Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM CRSP) of the University of Georgia, USA and the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) facilitated a dialogue among members of the international research and development community. An electronic consultation was hosted among a core group of about 30 experts representing a diversity of stakeholders to identify expected outcomes, a conceptual framework, key issues and organizational aspects. The electronic consultation was followed by an electronic conference that brought together 400 individuals from 50 countries representing NARS researchers, policy-makers, administrators, non-governmental organizations, scientists, producer groups and representatives of regional and international organizations and the donor community.

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For related information, see the following theme pages: -Research & Extension  
October 2000
The Energy and Agriculture Nexus
Environment and Natural Resources Working Paper No. 4

Energy has a key role in economic and social development but there is a general lack of rural energy development policies that focus on agriculture. Agriculture has a dual role as an energy user and as an energy supplier in the form of bioenergy. This energy function of agriculture offers important rural development opportunities as well as one means of climate change mitigation by substituting bioenergy for fossil fuels. This report focuses on the challenges and opportunities of advancing modern bioenergy technology, in general, and on the technical, environmental and economic benefits of the energy function of agriculture, in particular.

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For related information, see the following theme pages: -Bioenergy  

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