Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

FAO-AGRILINK Joint Webinar - Extension and advisory services (EAS) for the empowerment of small and family farmers: Addressing the digital divide

11 November 2021
FAO-AGRILINK Joint Webinar. Extension and advisory services (EAS) for the empowerment of small and family.

Research and extension systems play a crucial role in agricultural and rural development. Moreover, they are central to realizing the potential of agricultural innovation. (see: FAO’s role in Research and Extension).

In developing countries, innovation can address most of the challenges facing agriculture and natural resources management. Many developing countries, however, don’t have sufficient resources to properly develop their capacity to innovate. More specifically, the activities of agricultural research institutions are often affected by scarce investments and poor financial management, as well as limitations in technology transfer strategies. Similarly, extension systems are often under-resourced and not sufficiently coordinated and use outdated approaches and methods.

FAO aims to address this gap by contributing to transform agricultural innovation systems (AIS) of its member countries. By AIS is meant all the individuals, organizations and enterprises that bring new products, processes and forms of organization into use to achieve food security, economic development and sustainable natural resource management.
  • Introduction to the webinar Selvaraju Ramasamy, FAO Senior Agricultural Officer & Head of Research and Extension Unit, OINR 
  • Digital delivery of advice: experiences and lessons learned from the AGRILINK project Pierre
    , Horizon 2020 AGRILINK Project Co-ordinator, INRAE, France 
    The goal of AgriLink – Agricultural Knowledge: Linking farmers, advisors and researchers to boost innovation, is to stimulate transitions towards more sustainable European agriculture by furthering the understanding of the roles played by a wide range of advisory organisations in farmer decision-making and enhancing their contribution to learning and innovation.

Session 1: Role of advisory systems and related policies in maximizing digital dividends and minimizing digital divides 

Panel discussion based on concrete country cases: 
  • Promoting collaborative use of a Pest Monitoring & Warning System, INTIA, Spain 
  • COVID-19 impact on digital delivery of extension and advisory services, Ms. Nevena Alexandrova Stefanova, FAO OINR 
  • Farmer needs assessments, Ms. Monica Kansiime, CABI Africa Pierre Labarthe, Horizon 2020 AGRILINK Project Co-ordinator, INRAE, France 

Session 2: Empowerment of smallholder farmers and policy recommendations 

  • Setting the scene: policy recommendations for farmer training and educations on digital literacy Puyun Yang, OINR Unit, FAO 
  • Assessing rural youth digital access, use and skills as a basis for online engagements and co-design of digital services Marzia Pafumi, ESP Division, FAO 
Panel discussion based on concrete country cases: 
  • Daniel Ninsiima, Executive Director, e-Omulimisa, Uganda 
  • Ms. Su Kahumbu, CEO, iCow, Kenya 
  • Ms. Xin Yi Lim, Executive Director, Sustainability and Agricultural Impact, Pinduoduo, China 
  • Ms. Gunn-Turid Kvam, Facilitating better connection between small farmers & digital suppliers, RURALIS, Norway 
  • Ms. Nevena Alexandrova-Stefanova, FAO OINR 

Synthesis and closing observations Gianluca BrunoriHorizon 2020 AGRILINK Project + DeSIRA Project, University of Pisa, Italy

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