by Peter Schmidt for SDC, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, 2012.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation engaged during two decades in the development of rural advisory services in the Central Asian country Kyrgyzstan. A participatory capitalisation of experiences draws lessons learned with particular attention to sustainability and ownership issues.
The evolution of agricultural extension over the last twenty years had four distinct phases: 1) Advice as part of the Soviet agricultural production, 2) Supply side interventions, 3) Demand side interventions and 4) Growing competition among service providers. Today there is a decentralised and fairly pluralistic provision of advisory services with evidence for positive effects on the livelihoods of farmers in Kyrgyzstan. The services reach a substantial coverage and intensive capacity building resulted in a critical mass of qualified extension specialists. However, the assessment revealed that service providers are more oriented to the demand of donors than of farmers and that their financial and institutional sustainability is still doubtful. The agricultural innovation system is still performing rather poorly. The capitalisation of experiences concludes that the designers of the agricultural extension system in Kyrgyzstan should have paid more and earlier attention to the demand side, should have aimed at a pluralistic service provision system right from the beginning and severely underestimated the fragility of the context.
(This publication is available as download below and used with permission by the author)
|Context of Agricultural Extension Services Development in Kyrgystan||More Details on the Roles of Actors |
Rural Advisory Services under the WB and SDC approach