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GFRAS Network builds bridges to reach farmers

The Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) in collaboration with the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) organized, an International consultative workshop to review, complete and validate a joint proposal under the theme: “Delivering Extension Services to the Last-Mile: Improving smallholders' access to innovation and pluralistic, demand-driven extension services” from 21st to 22nd May 2018. This is important workshop was hosted by the Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services- Kenya (KeFAAS) and was held at Kilimo Grand Resort in Nairobi, Kenya.  

GFRAS and its constituent Networks AFAAS, Asia & Pacific Forum for Rural Advisory Services (APIRAS) and Latin America Forum for Rural Advisory Services (RELASER) developed this joint proposal to ’’ handle systemic issues affecting extension to reach farmers", said Dr. Silim Nadhy, the Executive Director of AFAAS, in his opening remarks during the workshop.

This is a joint programme of ten years scheduled on different phases whose development process has been so far supported by International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Globally, it’s urged that pluralistic Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services (AEAS) based on public-private partnershipmodels can be effective in responding to organised AEAS demand driven extension of individual and organised smallholder farmers. Subsequently, AEAS have to be well organised, have adequate human/technical capacities, have access to up-to-date relevant knowledge, be well coordinated and embedded in local service mechanisms. This enables smallholder farmers (particularly women and youth) to link to these mechanisms in a business-oriented manner and make farm-business decisions on actions and investments to enhance profitability leading to improved incomes and sustained market linkages.

This consultative workshop brought together representatives of the global, regional, sub-regional and Country Fora networks: GFRAS, AFAAS, APIRAS, RELASER, and RESCAR-AOC as well as representatives of development partners like IFAD and FAO including potential partners like Access Agriculture and AGRA too

The remarkable two days revealed good progress made on improving the document, building common understanding and ownership of the project by all participants.  But in order to attract more donors in supporting this project, Tom Anyonge of IFAD explained "Impact data deepens our voice in reasoning partners and donors".

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