Rural advisory services: What works? A synthesis on innovative approaches for benefiting and empowering farmers

Rural advisory services: What works? A synthesis on innovative approaches for benefiting and empowering farmers

This paper presents an assessment of four types of Rural Advisory Services with two examples – from Africa and Southeast Asia – of successful agroforestry extension programs.

The four types are: a) Farmer-to-farmer extension; b) Rural Resource Centres and rural institutions; c) Community nurseries and agroforestry farmer field schools; and d) Civil society campaigns, radio and social network analysis.

Rural Advisory Services (RAS) are activities that empower farmers with knowledge, strengthen their capacity, and promote innovation. This need is particularly acute for agroforestry practices, which are typically knowledge-intensive, often requiring specialised skills such as raising seedlings in a nursery and pruning trees. The paper highlights that helping farmers access the information and services they need is therefore a key priority in agroforestry and, more generally, programs aimed at improving rural livelihoods.

[Adapted from source]

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