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.
This paper presents an overview of current opportunities and challenges facing efforts to increase
the impact of rural and agricultural extension. The starting point for this analysis is in recognition
that the days when agricultural extension was synonymous with the work of public sector agencies
are over. The ‘extension services’ described here may just as likely consist of an input vendor
advising a farmer about what seed to plant, a television station broadcasting a weather forecast...
The case study report contains a number of recommendations for the AJK Government
to strengthen the demand-driven approach for demanding agricultural extension and
other services through the multi-disciplinary Village Development Plans prepared by
rural Community Organizations. As the recommendations are aimed at improving
a specifi c situation, they are not generic and therefore not being included in the Executive
Summary. The conclusions and lessons learned from the case study, however, are
being presented here for other developing countries in case they want to adopt the
demand-driven extension modality.
This study reviews and analyzes different successful experiences in Central America where extension experts have had a key role in achieving results within the framework of an agricultural innovation system. Our goal is to generate inputs and raise questions about the new role that should be taken by technical advisory systems and how they should be supported and strengthened within national extension systems.
There is currently an enormous need to mobilize agricultural extension services for food security and to achieve a range of rural development goals. Urgent efforts
are required to enhance access to and knowledge about new technologies, to ensure that farmers and other actors in value chains can deal with changing markets, to enable farmers to understand new challenges arising due to the changing climate, to support rural communities to manage their natural resources more effectively, and to assist farmers to make optimal use of their available resources to ensure food for their families.