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.
While the Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) initiative provides data and analysis of domestic public and private spending on agricultural research and development for a wide range of developing countries, the literature pays little attention, if any, to foreign assistance to agricultural, fishing and forestry research and agricultural extension. The objective of the present study is to fill this gap and offer a comprehensive analysis of 2002 to 2012 OECD data on foreign assistance to research and extension in agriculture, forestry and fishing.
This report establishes the concept of the capacity to innovate, which depends not only on hard technical capacities, but also softer functional capacities across the individual, organizational, and enabling environment scales. It argues that developing country-level innovation capacity requires an iterative capacity development process based around assessment. After reviewing the relevant assessment methods and tools, a general framework for assessing the capacity to innovate is proposed and applicable tools are suggested that explore key areas that influence the capacity to innovate.
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.
This paper provides a summary of the results obtained from three regional needs assessments of Capacity Development (CD) initiatives undertaken by the Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP) and its partners. The surveyed tropical regions were Southeast Asia, Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. The findings reveal a mismatch in all three regions between the external supply of primarily individual CD and the actual demand for institutional CD.