Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, September 30, 2013

4th GFRAS Annual Meeting 2013

24 - 26 September 2013. 4th GFRAS Annual Meeting 2013 Germany. The Role of Private Sector and Producer Organisations in Rural Advisory Services. The objectives of the 4th GFRAS Annual Meeting were:
  • Understand and agree on the role of private sector and producer organisations in RAS
  • Strengthen RAS networks in mobilising human and financial resources and planning and implementing networking
  • Update participants on progress in GFRAS
Thematic component: The Role of Private Sector and Producer Organisations in Rural Advisory Services
Producer organisations and the private sector are crucial both as RAS providers and as clients of advisory services. However, their role is not sufficiently analysed, and there is a lack of good practices on their involvement in extension. The 4th GFRAS Annual Meeting contributed to fill this gap by discussing:
  • Types of private sector and producer organisations RAS, their roles and limits, and areas to strengthen their contribution to sustainable rural development
  • Mechanisms to strengthen producer organisations’ roles and capacities in RAS, approaches to better integrate small-scale farmers, and tasks for RAS to support producer organisations’ contribution to RAS provision
  • Sustainability and cost-effectiveness in private sector and producer organisations RAS, approaches and transferability to other RAS sectors, and lessons from public-private partnerships

Functional Component: Network Strengthening
GFRAS and regional RAS networks are engaged in awareness raising on RAS, facilitating exchange, capacity strengthening, and translating, developing, and making use of knowledge products. Cross-regional sharing of experience and lessons learnt in three areas will support RAS fora in their future activities:
  • Mobilising human resources: approaches to attract interest, create ownership, strengthen capacities, activate country fora, and mobilise members for the long term
  • Mobilising financial resources: structures and mechanisms for mobilising internal and external resources, sustainability in funding, funding organisational development and networking, and the role of partnerships and visibility in fundraising
  • Planning and implementing networking: experience exchange on strategic planning, formal structures and tools that support implementation of activities

Share Fair: New approaches and issues of interest in RAS, progress reporting on GFRAS activities
Participants had the opportunity to share and discuss their own experience with peers during a share fair. This session will contribute to the creation of links and partnerships between participants and to sharing of information. It will help to identify new areas of interest and interaction in RAS.

icon pdf Programme (pdf 170KB)
icon pdf Participants list (pdf 561KB)
Opening and Keynote Address 24/09 Regina Birner, University of Hohenheim, Germany

Panel Discussion 24/09

Mechanisms to strengthen producer organisations’ roles and capacities in RAS. Their role in demand led extension and advisory service provision


Extension networks support video

Participants frequently debated about how service providers could improve their performance by including farmer training videos in their extension activities. Access Agriculture ̶ with its devoted web-sharing platform to enhance South-South exchange of quality training videos ̶ attracted a lot of attention during the event. Recognising the importance of regional and national networks in extension, Access Agriculture formalised its partnerships with the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) and explored expansion through the regional extension network in South Asia (AESA).

To more actively engage the multi-stakeholder extension country fora that are members of these regional networks, Access Agriculture is developing concrete activities around video-mediated rural learning. The country fora will play a lead role in assessing the need for local language translations of farmer training videos; in collating demand for mass multiplying DVDs; in supporting the development of national DVD distribution plans; and in channelling demand for new video programs. The regional and national multi-stakeholder extension networks are supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

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