Research and Extension Systems

Extension and advisory services: at the frontline of COVID-19 response for food security in Africa

30 Jun 2020

Webinar jointly organised with the FAO Regional Office for sub-Saharan Africa
30 June 2020 - The recording of the webinar is available here.

The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has generated extreme vulnerability in the agricultural sector. Governments around the globe are confronted with multiple challenges related to minimizing the devastating health impact and protecting human lives, livelihoods and ensuring sufficient food supplies and the functioning of services to those most in need. 

Extension and Advisory Service (EAS) systems, through their network of actors (public, NGOs, private sector, Producer Organizations, farmer groups, etc.), can play an indispensable role in raising awareness of COVID-19 to reduce spread of the pandemic and assist in emergency operations, while ensuring that rural producers have relevant and accurate information, inputs and services to support their agricultural production, strengthen local value chains, both during and in the post-emergency period. 

Recognising that the impact of COVID-19 and response measures are not uniform across the globe, FAO’s Research and Extension Unit, and Regional Office in Africa in collaboration with the Regional Network of Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (AFAAS) is organising  a series of webinars to discuss the role EAS in the context of the pandemic in different regions.

This webinar is jointly organised with the FAO Regional Office for sub-Saharan Africa will:

  • Brief on the key challenges posed by COVID-19 in agricultural sector, markets and supply chains that affect EAS assess and delivery;
  • Explore and discuss the potential roles of EAS actors and regional networks and policy aspects in providing essential services to the rural population in a short and medium term including socio-economic recovery;
  • Share experiences of key measures that EAS actors are undertaking by adapting their capacity, activities, and operational mechanism to respond effectively to COVID-19;
  • Highlight specific country examples from Cote d’ lvoire, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda and Liberia and responses to overcome challenges of COVID-19 impact and related measures;
  • Discuss the way forward in transforming EAS to provide effective support to food security & sustainable agriculture.
  • Impact of COVID-19 on food and agriculture sector in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Extension and advisory services (EAS): at frontline of COVID-19 response to ensure food security.
  • AFAAS’s experiences on supporting its national constituencies to provide EAS at frontline of COVID-19 response in sub-Saharan Africa. 
  • E- Plant Clinics - A digital approach to agricultural extension. 
  • Agricultural advisory services response to impact of COVID-19 on food security in Cote d’ lvoire. 
  • Responding to the COVID-19 lock down: experiences of agricultural extension and advisory services (AEAS) actors in Uganda. A survey by UFAAS. 
  • Innovating for continued farmer field school’s engagement amidst COVID-19 uncertainties in Malawi.
  • Experiences on the role of EAS in response to the COVID-19 and outbreaks of Ebola in Liberia.


  • Mr Ade Freeman, Regional Programme Leader, FAO Regional Office for Africa. 
  • Dr. Puyun Yang, Agricultural Training and Extension Officer, FAO Research and Extension Unit (AGDR). 
  • Dr. Rasoanindrainy Andrianjafy, African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Service (AFAAS) Secretariat.
  • Ms Rose Kamau, Principal Agriculture Officer, Crop Protection Division, State Department of Crop Development and Agriculture Research, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperative, Kenya.
  • Dr. Nathalie Bogui Konan, National Rural Development Support Agency (ANADER), Cote d’ lvoire.
  • Dr. Richard Miiro, Lecturer, Makerere University, Department of Agriculture Extension and Innovation Studies, Academia Representative-Uganda Forum for Agricultural Advisory Service.   
  • Mr. Thomas Ameny, FFS Expert, FAO Country Office in Malawi.
  • Mr. Edward Perry, Ministry of Agriculture, Liberia.