African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services

AFAAS raised the voice of Agricultural Extension in Addis Ababa

The 2nd edition of the AFAAS Africa Wide-Agricultural Extension Week (AAEW 2015) was held from 12th -16th October 2015 in Addis- Ababa, Ethiopia. Participants came up with a final declaration in order to reboost Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services in Africa.

The Extension Week 2015 brought together more than 300 representatives of agricultural extension and advisory services practitioners and other agricultural value chain actors across and outside Africa. Over 40 countries across the world were assembled under the theme: “Reinvigorating Extension Services for Market-led Agriculture within the Context of the Malabo Declaration”. The main objective of the Extension Week was to reinvigorate agricultural extension services for market- led agriculture for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods in Africa.

At the opening ceremony, chaired by Mr. Adolphus Johnson, the AFAAS former Board Chairperson, the Ethiopian Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Hon. Sileshi Getahun recalled that “the Malabo improved livelihood and at least doubling current agricultural productivity by the year 2025 through providing appropriate knowledge, information and skill to smallholder farmers thereby reducing the current levels of postharvest losses by half”.

Presenting the overview of AFAAS, Dr. Silim Nahdy, the AFAAS Executive Director mentioned that Extension is the missing link between research and farmers. And this is the time to fix the pipe to have good flow of innovation coming from research to farmers. In this regard, Hon. Sileshi Getahun said that “agricultural extension and advisory services have an enormous role to play in facilitating agricultural transformation process in Africa and learning from each other and harnessing synergies and global good practices is very essential”.

To fix gaps of all value chain actors in Extension, capacity building sessions were organized for participants by CABI, CTA and AGRA. Most of them were trained on ICT4RAS, Gender, Post-harvest, capacity development.

This event was also a big opportunity for over 20 organizations to showcase and sharing their experience and knowledge during 7 days of exhibition. This experience and knowledge sharing  has continued with four field visits organized on agro-processing and ICT, post-harvest handling and marketing, capacity development and mechanization, and inputs storage and handling.

Participants from African ministries of agriculture; rural agricultural extension and advisory services practitioners from public, private and civil society organizations; farmers; academia; continental and international research, innovation and technology institutions; the private sector; bilateral and multilateral development partners and related donor organizations; policy making and advocacy institutions; financial institutions and the media came up with  a declaration called, Addis Ababa Declaration in order to reboost agricultural Extension and advisory services in Africa.

At the end of the event, AFAAS held its 5th General Assembly and new members were elected to join the Board.