Extension, poverty and vulnerability: inception report of a study for the Neuchatel Initiative

Extension, poverty and vulnerability: inception report of a study for the Neuchatel Initiative

Extension needs to concentrate on reducing vulnerablility

This inception paper reviews recent trends in poverty, vulnerability and extension, and the policy context in which extension is located.

The paper concludes that:

  • poverty is multi-faceted, but as the Sustainable Livelihoods (SL) framework argues, the poor have assets and choices; development is not merely about increasing income, but about broadening livelihood-related choices. In its broadest conception, the purpose of extension is to help in broadening choice
  • vulnerability is endemic among the poor and severely constrains their livelihood choices. Agricultural extension may not help directly. Here social policy will take on a more important role, incorporating livelihood extension and safety nets. Policy (and extension) needs to focus not just on increasing accumulation, but also on reducing vulnerability
  • the desirable scope for extension is much wider than what public sector services can hope to provide, and embraces production, the wider production context, and wider aspects of livelihoods in a range of possible roles (purely advisory; advisory and input supply; advisory and institutional support)
  • extension must be firmly nested within a wider service context (including credit, input supply, processing, marketing)

 

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