Rural Advisory Services (RAS) are key to agricultural development and to improve the livelihood of millions of family farmers. This policy document looks at what are the specific needs of family farms and the response needed by RAS. The document results from several initiatives held during IYFF 2014: the FAO-GFRAS side event organized at the 5th GFRAS Annual Meeting in Buenos Aires on ‘RAS for family farms’, the side event during the Global Dialogue on Family Farming at FAO HQ and the FAO e-conference on ‘Tailoring RAS to family farms’.
The study describes the historic development of the Danish Agricultural Advisory Services (DAAS). This is the case of a national advisory system owned and managed by the farmer organizations and financed with public subsidies combined with farmer/user payments, gradually developed to full user payment. The links and relations between the empowerment of farmers and their organizations, their evolving roles in advisory systems, and the innovative financial mechanisms in extension, especially pull-mechanisms, are analyzed.
The Farmer Field School (FFS) approach has been very successful and witnessed a strong expansion in many areas beyond crop production. Notwithstanding this success, the adoption of FFS in national extension often remains problematic and FFS activities have often been implemented in the margin of national institutions with strong reliance on donor funding. The creation of an enabling environment for institutional support is essential for expanding the effort, improving quality, and strengthening impact and continuity of the FFSs. This paper aims to analyse opportunities, challenges and implications of institutionalizing FFS at the national level.
Information about extension and new methodologies for implementation is often scattered and presented in complex academic language. Practitioners, who often have very limited time and/or may only have basic formal education, find it difficult to make use of this information.
The Global Good Practices Initiative aims to bridge this gap by providing information about extension approaches and methods in easy-to-understand formats.
Rural advisory services (RAS) can play an important role in addressing gender inequalities. However, RAS programmes have often fallen short of expectations to design and implement relevant services to help rural women and men achieve food security and generate more income. This paper is based on an examination of a broad selection of existing literature on gender-sensitive RAS. It looks at gender-differentiated barriers in access to RAS and explores the challenges of effectively targeting women family farmers when delivering these services.
The Farm Business School (FBS) was developed to assist extension workers, public or private, to more effectively work with farmers to provide them with the skills to respond to market demands. This publication comprises a collection of training materials that include: i) an orientation programme for policy makers and programme managers, ii) a short training (1 day or 7 days) for facilitators to set up and run farm business schools, (iii) a handbook aimed at providing guidance to trainers to design and implement the programme, and iv) a manual of training exercises.
The study reflects on previous World Bank and FAO reports that made the general recommendation to set both research and extension investment targets in developing countries at 1% of agricultural gross domestic product (AgGDP). In order to define proxies for country-specific extension investment targets, authors developed an extension investment model (EIM) based on socio-economic macro-indicators (poverty, undernourishment, access to information and population density) and a method to define estimates for cost increases related to climate change.
The FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean has been working in support of family farming with its member countries, forming a network of experts with over a hundred participants from 33 countries in the region. This book systematizes experiences and lessons to contribute to the dialogue and formulation of public policies to address the challenges faced by family farmers, highlighting experiences and projects that strengthened the management of their organizations, the sustainable intensification of production and the access to markets and value chains.
This series was developed to help extension workers provide support to farmers in dealing with the new challenges that arise from market-oriented farming. The aim is to contribute to building their capacity and skills in farm management and through them, the capacity and skills of the farmers with whom they work. The intention is to help farmers understand why they make the choices they make and how they can improve their decision making skills.