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April 2004

Announcement of a new publication

Facing the challenge of an HIV/AIDS epidemic: agricultural extension services in sub-Saharan Africa

The mandate of extension services, whether public or private, has always been rural human resources development with an aim to increase food production through the introduction of improved agricultural technology. The very survival of these human resources, both within the extension organization and among the clientele, however, is currently at stake due to the HIV/AIDS menace. Urgent and major efforts are needed by the extension services to prepare themselves for battle against the epidemic, to educate the farming population about the disease, and to develop new strategies, methodologies, materials, technology and equipment to serve the extension needs of thousands of new entrants in farming. The most meaningful role the extension services can play is in strengthening the prevention of further spread of HIV infections by educating men and women farmers on the subject, and by demonstrating the relationship between the epidemic and food security. This is the time when both public and private extension institutions ought to broaden their scope of work beyond transfer of agricultural technology and consider integrating environment, population, and HIV/AIDS education into ongoing agricultural extension programmes, with a view to the sustainable livelihoods of rural people.

Click here to view the document (html format) or here for pdf format (310 KB).

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