This Worldwide Extension Study was initiated by the International Food Policy Research Institute, IFPRI, and funded by USAID, in close collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, IICA.
United States Agency for International Development, USAID, www.usaid.gov
In recognition of the important role of extension and advisory services in addressing key global problems of food insecurity and poverty, as well as environmental and natural resource conservation, USAID is fully supporting IFPRI’s work to carry out this Worldwide Extension Study. The objectives of this study are to provide empirical data for assessing the current extension systems and for use in planning future efforts to modernize and strengthen these rural extension and advisory services. USAID recognizes that the overall goals of extension and advisory services are to both increase agricultural productivity and farm household income, with the overall goal of improving rural livelihoods, while maintaining natural resources on a sustainable basis worldwide.
USAID recognizes that extension and advisory
systems must be strengthened and modernized to improve the skills and knowledge
of rural people, so they can respond to continuing changes in the global economic
and natural resource environment. In
short, expanding the capacity and ability of rural people to innovate depends
on their access to needed knowledge and information within this rapidly
changing economic environment. To increase this capacity, most extension
systems will need to strengthen the skills and knowledge of their field and
management staff, so they can effectively modernizing their extension and
advisory systems. In addition, most
extension systems will need to address other important issues, including
resource conservation, food safety, human nutrition, family education; as well as
youth development. To do so, most rural
extension systems will need to be modernized by modifying their management
systems and identifying new ways of making their respective systems more
financially sustainable on a long-term basis.
This is the reason why USAID has recently funded the Modernizing
Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS) project. For an overview of USAID's engagement for extension please refer to http://www.usaid.gov/our_work/agriculture/extension_services.htm.
Disclaimer: While this study is made possible in part by the
generous support of the American people through the United States Agency
Modernizing Extension and Advisory Systems, MEAS, www.meas-extension.org
The mission of MEAS is to be the Center of
Excellence for modernizing extension and advisory systems. Extension
systems in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central
to undergo significant change if they are to effectively serve the food
security and economic development needs of resource-poor men and women
farmers. New approaches must draw on full
breadth of resources in public, private and civil society organizations
and utilized available advanced information and communications
technologies. MEAS is a Center of Excellence that seeks to promote and support such endeavors.
MEAS' goal is to help transform and modernize these extension systems, so they can play a key role in both increasing farm incomes and enhancing the livelihoods of the rural poor, especially farm women. MEAS emphasizes participatory approaches and collaborative development work with host public, non-governmental and private extension practitioners.
Global Forum for Rural Advisory Systems, GFRAS, www.g-fras.org
Men and women farmers worldwide need advice and support to improve their lives. Agricultural advisors provide education and coaching to farmers to bring about increased incomes and reduced poverty. But these advisors often operate in isolation and without support. The Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services promotes and supports these advisors, their organizations, and rural advisory services institutions to improve the quality of their work. The Forum provides a platform for advisory services to share experiences, learn from one another, and advocate for their profession.The mission of GFRAS is thus to provide a space for advocacy and leadership on pluralistic, demand-driven rural advisory services within the global development agenda. GFRAS was initiated in January 2010 to provide this space for advocacy and leadership on pluralistic, demand-driven rural advisory services.