Research & Extension


Aug 2013
The materials covered in this collection have been prepared for use by all service providers concerned with promoting farming as a business – whether they work for the private, NGO, or public sector. This could include the public sector extension workers who are involved in farm business management and marketing, private sector business service providers, NGOs and policy-makers. Further, it is hoped that the material will encourage decision-makers in countries where farm management extension positions have not been established to set up such positions.

Publication available in: English
Jun 2013
This study suggests that the majority of farmers – particularly smallholders – need to expand their understanding of markets and economic opportunities in order to run their farms as sustainable and profitable businesses. To create a viable livelihood from farming, they need to move from a sole focus on production for home consumption to producing also for the market. Even though farmers are innovative and entrepreneurial, they often lack the know-how to do so alone. They need advice from others; they need services.

Publication available in:
Mar 2013
The core idea of the Rural Knowledge Network (RKN) was to make more information available, specifically about markets, to smallholder farmers. This was done by building a network of entrepreneurs who collected price information regularly and sent it to a central collecting Internet platform facility. Due to the demonstrated benefits the RKN project has shown, the report concluded that rural market access to business networks should be expanded to reach commercially viable scales through the ongoing IFAD, FAO and other development programmes in the region.

Publication available in: English
Nov 2012
In Colombia, the Foundation for the Sustainable and Participatory Development of Small Rural Producers (Corporación PBA) has developed a strategy for Participatory Rural Innovation (IRP), which prioritizes the development and promotion of farmers’ abilities and skills by using their own knowledge as the basis for this activity. It has also sought to encourage research institutions, state authorities, governmental and non-governmental organizations to work closely in the context of social processes at the local level, to promote innovation developed by the people themselves.

Publication available in: Español
Jun 2012
For the Rio+20 meetings GFRAS together with FAO, Farming First, IFPRI and WFO published a position paper entitled "Building Knowledge Systems in Agriculture". Knowledge sharing is critical to supporting the three dimensions of sustainable development (social, economic, and environmental). Extension and advisory services are crucial knowledge-sharing institutions and key for linking scientific research, field-level innovations and innovators, markets, education, and other service providers.

Publication available in: English