There is often a critical gap between knowing what could be helpful and then making that information known so that it can be put into practice. Filling that gap is the specialty of an organization called Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS; https://meas.illinois.ed). MEAS has produced a wealth of informational materials focused on best strategies, tools and resources for strengthening the role that rural extension systems play in increasing food production and farm income. Their publications are relevant to those looking for the best ways to transfer knowledge and skills to farmers coping with various challenges.
With generous support from MEAS, ECHO completed a project to extract, summarize and disseminate key MEAS insights and lessons to our growing network of field-based practitioners. This resulted in twelve summaries of MEAS materials shown on this web page. Technical Note 83, also completed with support from MEAS, captures key lessons and practices from community human/animal health programs that apply to agriculture extension efforts. It is especially relevant to those looking for insights on how to utilize community-based extension workers to reach farmers in areas where it is not practical to bring in outside personnel to teach and conduct extension activities.
For those who wish to study a particular topic in greater depth, references and suggestions are provided for further reading. We trust that these documents will help you be more effective in communicating hunger-related options among the farmers you serve.
12 Issues in this Publication (Showing 11 - 12)
This document draws from the MEAS brief #3 Adaptation under the New Normal of Climate Change: The Future of Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services. Written for extension and advisory service providers, the MEAS brief contains insights helpful to practitioners working to develop strategies for helping small-scale farmers adapt and build resilience to the effects of climate change
Recent growth in global commodity prices, as well as expansion of domestic and export markets among emerging economies, translates to new and better opportunities for smallholder farmers in the developing world to access these markets. Increased production of high value horticulture crops in developing countries is also creating opportunities for small-scale farmers. Large corporations realize that farmers in developing countries, with both large and small land holdings, are potential suppliers in international, domestic and regional supply chains. Though there are risks in emerging markets, these trends could bring increased support services for farmers such as improved technology, extension, finance and insurance.
For the rural poor to take advantage of market opportunities there is a need for governments to invest in local infrastructure. There is also a need to reinforce business services, train and equip farmers with new skills and develop extension systems that can improve production and market performance. This document, drawn from the MEAS / USAID Brief # 4 and Discussion Paper #4, will provide an overview of the markets, factors to consider when developing projects that link smallholders to trade options, and common approaches to strengthening smallholders’ access to markets.