Research & Extension

Strengthening Policies and Strategies for Innovation in Family Farming

The Research and Extension Unit promotes inclusive agriculture innovation for member countries focusing on smallholder farmers and their organisations, through direct policy advice to member countries, policy studies such as the  flagship publication on innovation in family farming, and the promotion of national and regional policy dialogue in a multi-stakeholder approach.  The Research and Extension Unit has also contributed to the development and writing of the State of Food and Agriculture 2014 (SOFA) , a major study on family farming and agricultural innovation systems (AIS). The report analyses family farms and the role of innovation in ensuring global food security, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability. It argues that family farms must be supported to innovate in ways that promote sustainable intensification of production and improvement in rural livelihoods.

Moreover, the Research and Extension Unit promotes innovation by strengthening institutions and by supporting policies that foster interactions, joint-learning and information sharing between a variety of actors at national and international level. 

Why is it important?

Agriculture development depends on innovation. Food security, climate change adaptation, poverty alleviation, sustainable management of natural resources rely on innovation processes where smallholders are protagonists. While much has been learned about the innovation concepts in recent years, policy options on strengthening inclusive agriculture innovation systems still need further elaboration.  Through the analysis of good practices and lessons learned on agriculture innovation and family farming, more effective policies can be implemented.



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What is agriculture innovation in family farming?

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FAO - Research & Extension Unit
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00153 Rome, Italy [email protected]