Title : Delivering Extension Services to the Last-Mile: Improving smallholders’ access to innovation and pluralistic, demand-driven extension services
Date of publication: 2020
Country of origin: –
Number of pages: 54
Target Audience: –
The current global attention on food security, climate change and market driven smallholder agricultural/livestock production has put rural advisory services (RAS) back on the development agenda. The increasing demand for RAS has not been matched by government and private-sector investments in the delivery systems of RAS. There is pressure in developing countries to re-define the role of government, civil society organizations and the private sector in the provision of RAS. This notwithstanding, governments are reluctant to invest loan proceeds in catalysing innovative private sector lead mechanisms to deliver RAS. A review of most IFAD and EU supported project designs and supervision of implementation progress in Africa often raise RAS as the missing link in enabling smallholder farmers to maximise on other investments – such as equipment, seeds, productive infrastructure and other services needed upstream and downstream value chains. Smallholder producers need more than just technical information related to production aspects. There is rarely a “one size fits all” solution to address the mix of technical, economic, commercial, social and environmental and climate change aspects that farming problems consist of. New market-based mechanisms are required to ensure pluralism in RAS delivery based on demand. As a key participant in the Neuchatel Initiative IFAD declared RAS for small rural poor producers and their organizations among its key priority areas for grant financing in 2018.