Extension & Advisory Services for Ag-Risk Management
Extension Training and Conference Proceedings from the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)
CTA (February 2014) | Smallholder farmers, the majority of whom are women, produce most of the food we eat. Often they do this with minimal support, using outdated technologies and practices. They are seldom reached by extension and advisory service providers as their needs and demands are not well articulated or understood. They also lack the resources, mainly financial, required to access much-needed inputs. Increased attention is now being paid to the issues inhibiting the full participation of smallholder farmers in value chains. Policy and institutional changes are critical in bringing about a transformation. To that end, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) recently hosted an international conference on "Innovations in Extension and Advisory Services featuring information on policy, tools and approaches, capacity development, and more. >>Learn More
New Blog Post
FARMD (January 2014) | Suresh Babu's blog seeks to answer the central question that seeks examples of extension that can be emulated - specifically using the case of India and the application of the same national policy in different districts with varying levels of success. >>Read the Blog
FARMD (July 2013) | Farmers worldwide face a wide variety of risks. These include climate and weather, pests and diseases, and natural catastrophes such as earthquakes or landslides. These risks can cause fluctuations in production, which damage livelihoods and contribute to consumer price volatility. The burden of risk is particularly heavy for smallholders in developing countries. However, more solutions are becoming available to manage risks, and extension services can play a key role.
The purpose of extension is to disseminate advice to farmers. Knowledge gaps contribute to yield gaps. Services and quality inputs are essential productivity-enhancing tools. However, their optimum use requires knowledge, which comes primarily from extension advisors. The knowledge farmers need goes beyond production. It includes price and market information, water and soil management, post-harvest management, and an understanding of product quality determinants and safety standards. Some farmers marshal and command knowledge on their own. The “resource-poor” majority, however, which includes most smallholders, depend on external, science-based extension to complement local knowledge for improved farming, risk management and better access to markets.
|Adapting to Risk: How Can Extension Systems Help? | Suresh Babu, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)|
FARMD (July 2013) | This FARMD Interview series video brings Suresh Babu from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to speak about his current work in agricultural extension services in developing countries. This is the first in a series of four videos featuring Mr Babu speaking on his work, and the work of IFPRI, related to agricultural extension and innovation systems.
Access Agriculture | During weekly visits, and supported by their extension agent, a farmer field school in Tanzania learns how to test different sorghum varieties for striga resistance and evaluate how each one performs under different practices. Participatory variety selection (PVS) is an important component of integrated soil fertility management (ISFM).
IFPRI Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services Worldwide Study | The Worldwide Extension Study provides empirical data on the human and financial resources of agricultural extension and advisory systems worldwide, as well as other important information on:
- the primary extension service providers in each country
(e.g. public, private and/or non-governmental);
- which types and groups of farmers are the primary target groups (e.g. large, medium, and/or small-scale farmers, including rural women) for each extension organization;
- how each organization’s resources are allocated to key extension and advisory service functions;
- each organization’s information and communication technology resources and capacity; and
- what role, if any, different categories of farmers play in setting extension’s priorities and/or assessing performance.
Featured Online Training Material
Access Agriculture is an international NGO which showcases agricultural training videos in local languages. Here you can see examples of videos, download them or order a DVD copy. The audio tracks can also be downloaded by radio stations. Below are links to just a few of the categories of videos that can be found at Access Agriculture.
Find Documents, Projects, and Resources in the FARMD Library
Additional Training Materials and Resources
- Insights into Participatory Video: A Handbook for the Field - InsightShare
- Toolkit on Interactive Radio for Agricultural Development Projects - specifically extension services (USAID)
- Toolkit on Integrating Low-Cost Video into Agricultural Development Projects - particularly for extension services (USAID)