This publication comprises an annotated and abstracted bibliography of case studies in the field of agricultural and natural resource management (NRM) research, as well as an analysis of these studies. The cases cited are examples of the application of participatory research methods within different agricultural and NRM disciplines. An attempt has also been made to compile studies and examples of participatory research in Central and Eastern Europe and countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The Strategic Extension Campaign (SEC) is an agricultural extension approach designed to improve the impact with farmers of an existing organized extension service. SEC makes extension planning purposeful, systematic from the bottom upwards and participatory. Using the knowledge, attitude and practice survey, the SEC functionally links extension with research and the local media.
The article is based on case study research method conducted on the experiential methodology followed by the Indian National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management.
The Guidelines are a first attempt to present a "manual" from which relevant pragmatic indications can be taken to render forthcoming and existing conventional projects (more) participatory. This means firstly that the projects are to the largest possible extent oriented towards the rural poor, and secondly that they include provisions for the formation of self-run beneficiary groups. As explained later, these two essential features do not substitute for but are expected to complement conventional development approaches and efforts.
This essay deals with the practical implications of participatory action research as a means to enhance people's participation in development on their own behalf. It is a result of about 20 years of experience with all kinds of grassroots organizations in different areas in the Third World, but particularly with projects of FAO's People's Participation Programme (PPP) since 1981.
A common thread throughout many of the discussions, was the recognition that not enough research is oriented to benefit the farmer; this is not necessarily due to the classical division of basic and applied research, but more so due to the research topic selection and the lack of proper integration of farmer knowledge and participation.
Achievement of international levels of agricultural productivity, quality, efficiency and profitability presents a difficult challenge for the Central and Eastern European countries, particularly those where average farm size is small. Shortage of money to pay for necessary inputs and for renewal and maintenance of equipment and buildings is still the main barrier to progress. However the generation of new knowledge, methods and materials through research, and effective delivery of technical knowledge and business advice to farmers through extension, are also key factors for success.
Extension is part of the adult educational process. In the context of this paper extension services are considered as those organisations and individuals that provide information, advice and/or consultancy services to farmers and their families, including horticultural crop producers, on matters related to production from rural areas. Although the main consideration is extension for agricultural production, it is recognised that extension services should include forestry and socio-economic activities.
This paper reviews recent studies and proceedings completed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and others, in relation to recent agricultural reform and rural development policies across the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and in particular it explores the role of producer groups and rural Organizations.
Extension reforms need to be firmly grounded in a sound analysis of issues relevant to a particular context. This guide provides a framework of such issues as a basis for monitoring, evaluation and analytical discussions to improve support to agricultural extension.Neuchâtel Initiative.
One of the main technical challenges faced by agricultural extension workers is how to "sell" extension advice on population and environment to the farmers since these subjects are not agricultural per se. A strategy developed under a project in Egypt for this specific purpose could be helpful for extension services.
This book describes FAO's pioneering approach in integrating environment education concerns into agricultural education and training programmes. It reports the process, achievements and lessons learned from the actual experiences in planning and implementing such programmes in eight agricultural education, training and extension organizations in six countries.
Recently, interest has begun to coalesce around the potentials offered by the Farmer Field School (FFS) approach. Included in this article is a brief look at some of the key elements in the FFS approach and its transfer to Africa.
The purpose of this study is primarily to review and analyze the national policy and strategy of the public extension system, the on-going programmes and the various approaches to provide farming communities with necessary assistance.
Male migration in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir region of Pakistan has resulted in crop farming and livestock raising and management becoming increasingly women's domain.
As a system of education, agricultural extension in Indonesia is concerned not only with transferring technology, but with educating farmers to become development-oriented. The main task of agricultural extension is to facilitate farmers' learning and action through the provision of technical information, access to development facilities and legal support for farming and business activities.
The rural people in developing countries are often far removed from many important decision-making processes. Production and consumption of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is a topical issue and could impact on socio-cultural systems of rural populations in developing countries. Involving the rural people in decision-making on GMOs was discussed during this moderated e-mail conference hosted by the FAO Biotechnology Forum in 2005.
Assessment of the economic, social and environmental impact of new technologies, such as those used in agricultural biotechnology, is crucially important for both researchers and policy-makers. Impact studies can help policy-makers identify the most effective and cost effective strategy to tackle specific social and economic problems.
Sistemas de Conocimiento y de Información Agrícola para el Desarrollo Rural (AKIS)
It aims to provide a preliminary response to the question: How can developing countries encourage the various systems, organizations and producers concerned with agricultural research, education and extension, and operating in the public or private sector, to behave as one system with regard to the agricultural development component of rural development? In other words: What do developing countries need to establish and maintain an Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS) that targets agriculture – broadly conceived as crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry – as a main component of rural development (RD)?
An AKIS/RD is a system that links rural people and institutions to promote mutual learning and generate, share and utilize agriculture-related technology, knowledge and information. The system integrates farmers, agricultural educators, researchers and extensionists to harness knowledge and information from various sources for better farming and improved livelihoods.
Weak linkages among research, education and extension institutions result in systematic "bottlenecks" in national agricultural technology systems and can limit their effectiveness to contribute to development. Evidence shows that integrating research, education and extension can improve the overall performance of agricultural technology systems.
In the context of a global effort to contribute to the improvement of Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems (AKIS), FAO had commissioned a number of studies on national AKIS in each of its five geographical regions. The AKIS study for Lithuania was completed in 2002 and showed a very rapid development of system elements in the first decade of Lithuania’s new independence.
The global advocacy for sustainable rural and agricultural development demands from agricultural extension workers that they educate farmers in population and environment issues, presenting them in a context that is easily understood by the farmers. The APEX (agriculture, population, environment extension) strategy was developed over a period of many years in Egypt under a Government of Egypt/UNFPA/FAO project, and has proved to be very effective for this purpose.
Red Virtual de Investigación, Extensión y Comunicación (VERCON)
The VERCON pilot was aimed at addressing in particular the needs of small-scale Egyptian farmers through the exchange of information between agricultural research and extension, and indirectly the farmers themselves.
The overall goal of VERCON is to improve, through strengthened research-extension linkages, the agricultural advisory services provided to Egyptian farmers and in particular to resource poor farmers in order to increase production in food and agriculture with the goal of raising farm incomes.
The Platform of technology, information and communication for agriculture and rural areas of Costa Rica has been created for producers, extension agents and researchers.
The main steps that were taken to establish VERCON in Egypt are valid for any research/extension system. The details of the information system steps can differ depending on the system structure, the nature of linkages, budget allocation, management style and the Internet access modalities.
The operational framework consists of the organization structure for VERCON management, and procedeures for different activities to be conducted to keep VERCON alive.
One of the concept models, the Farmer Information Network (FarmNet), is a network of rural people supported by intermediary organizations such as extension services, which use ICTs and conventional media to facilitate the generation, collation and exchange of knowledge and information for improved livelihoods.
Específicas para un grupo o situación local
This study examines the extension and training needs of disabled farmers in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
This article presents a summary of the findings and recommendations of a study prepared and carried out under the guidance of FAO's Extension, Education and Communication Service, in cooperation with and funded by UNDP. The study focused on the effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the commercial agricultural sector, comparing the situation in East and West Kenya.
The very survival of rural human resources development aimed at improving agricultural production, both within the extension organization and among the clientele, is currently at stake due to the HIV/AIDS menace. PDF
This publication, issued jointly by the University of Namibia and the FAO Regional Office for Africa, provides background to the situation of HIV/AIDS in Namibia. Issues related to the impact of HIV/AIDS on farming, both communal and commercial are reviewed.
Extension workers interact regularly with the crop farmers, livestock farmers and the fishing folk. Despite this regular interaction, the study has revealed that extension workers are not involved in HIV/AIDS work, as it does not fall within their mandate. Also the extension workers at present lack the knowledge and skills of addressing HIV/AIDS issues since it had long been perceived as a health matter. To mainstream HIV/AIDS messages into agricultural extension, the agricultural sector must recognize that the epidemic is not only a health issue, but a development issue as well.
Herramientas y Programas
CROPWAT is meant as a practical tool to help agro-meteorologists, agronomists and irrigation engineers to carry out standard calculations for evapotranspiration and crop water use studies, and more specifically the design and management of irrigation schemes. It allows the development of recommendations for improved irrigation practices, the planning of irrigation schedules under varying water supply conditions, and the assessment of production under rainfed conditions or deficit irrigation.
It is intented for use in the appraisal, benchmarking and upgrading of irrigation systems for modernization and their upgrading. It also presents training materials and programmes on operation and management, modernization and benchmarking of irrigation schemes.
An interactive tool to query a spatial data-set containing mean monthly climate data. The data-set covers the global land surface at a 10 minute spatial resolution for the period 1961-1990. The tool displays the latitude, longitude and elevation of the chosen location, and many climate variables per month.
The CD-ROM, now in version 2.0, covers monthly data for 28100 stations, for up to 14 observed and computed agroclimatic parameters. It includes both long-term averages (1961-90) and time series for rainfall and temperatures.
A web-based application that estimates climatic conditions for any location on earth.
It is a software that allows the user to fully analyse satellite images, such as those provided by FAO-ARTEMIS in two dimensions, through the display of individual images or through the creation of time series (curves) of points or area averages, created by extracting data from the images, which the user can then graph in a spreadsheet program.
Low resolution satellite imagery, meteorological data and derived products and information on software tools, methods and techniques used for environmental monitoring, crop forecasting, early warning, desert locust control and others.
Integrates space and time in the same analysis by a series of operations that prepare and process a time series of satellite imagery through Principal Component Analysis, followed by cluster analysis.
VegInfo is a small utility developed to assist in the use of images derived from the SPOT-VEGETATION instrument. These images are distributed in HDF format as SDS data sets.
Promote problem solving and participatory and multistakeholder approaches to enhance the contribution of trees and forests to sustainable land use and food security.
Irrigation advisory services can play an importantly role in assisting users to adopt new techniques and technologies for more efficient water use and increased production. Such services can be provided by private, public or co-operative agencies.
This course is a supplement to the website of the Informal Working Group on participatory methods and approaches "participation, sharing our resources".
To find out about FAO's Rural Youth Development Programme, its mandate and projects in the field, including country reports on programmes for young people in a wide range of developing countries, visit the Rural Youth web site.