Research and Extension Systems

Capacity Development and technical advice

The Research and Extension Unit strengthens national capacities for agricultural innovation through appropriate research and extension policies, strategies and technical support, including initiative such as the Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CDAIS) and other Technical Cooperation Programmes (TCP).

Advocacy, assessments and policy advice

OINR develops Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) assessments and raises awareness about the benefits of adopting an AIS approach to agricultural innovation. In addition, OINR provides policy advice through targeted studies and supports policy development through initiatives such as the Tropical Agricultural Platform (TAP).


By partnering with international agricultural research and extension consortia and fora such as CGIAR, GFRAS and GFAR, OINR advances research governances and priorities to promote agricultural innovation and supports pluralistic, demand-led and market-oriented extension and advisory systems.

Knowledge management

OINR supports capacity development that promotes sustainable rural growth and agricultural innovation through the provision of comprehensive knowledge and  information about readily available technologies for smallholder farmers. The knowledge portals managed by the Research and Extension unit include Technologies and Practices for Smallholder Agricultural Producers (TECA) and TAPipedia.

Agricultural research and extension systems are central to unlock the potential of agricultural innovation and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Public agricultural research and extension and advisory services are essential for increasing productivity and agricultural value chain development and for promoting sustainable agricultural growth and alleviating poverty.

The Research and Extension Unit supports FAO Members by providing policy advice and technical assistance, sharing knowledge and developing institutional and technical capacities so that they can transform their agricultural research systems and extension and advisory services, thereby unlocking the full potential of agricultural innovation.

In focus

Assessing or understanding the Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) is an essential step to better understand the needs, new skills and functions needed by the actors and the system. To accelerate...

The global impacts of the climate crisis are becoming ever clearer, and natural resources and ecosystems are being depleted. Despite some progress, hunger and poverty persist, and inequalities are deepening....

Facilitation has proved crucial for enabling the interaction of Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) actors to address the target and to innovate. This “Guide on training of facilitators of multi-actor agricultural...

The global youth population has reached the unprecedented figure of 1.2 billion. This exceptional number has enormous potential: with farming populations ageing across the world, the agricultural sector needs to...