Introduction‎ > ‎


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,

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

Disclaimer:  While this study is made possible in part by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of the principal investigators for this Worldwide Extension Study and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

Modernizing Extension and Advisory Systems, MEAS,

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 America need 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,

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.