The Future of Agricultural Advisory Services in Africa: Evidence and New Directions

In Africa, efficient agricultural extension and advisory services (EAS) are essential for the achievement of increasing and unprecedented efforts undertaken at country and regional levels to make agriculture more productive, profitable and sustainable. This requires that various stakeholders involved have a good knowledge and consideration of recent and ongoing evolution, but also emerging challenges and opportunities that shape the agenda for extension and advisory services. The Feed the Future Developing Local Extension Capacity (DLEC) project co-hosted a regional Community of Practice meeting in June 2019. The Convening was attended by representatives from RESCAR, AFAAS, the DLEC Consortium partner Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS), and implementing partners from the private sector, civil society, and research. The overall objective of the event was to share lessons learned from evidence on advisory services in Africa and to discuss ways to implement them through existing and new projects using AFAAS country forums as the basis for multi-stakeholder platforms. Through plenary presentations and discussions, and group work sessions, the meeting enable the sharing of knowledge and experiences, collective reflection on issues and opportunities for the development of EAS in Africa resulting in the formulation of recommendations.

The event took place in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) from 24 – 26 June 2019. Day one focused on the status of EAS in Africa, particularly in West and Central Africa (WCA), and discussed priority recommendations for strengthening country fora and sub-regional extension networks. Day two and three were dedicated to the GFRAS-led Last Mile Programme (LMP) and covered partnerships and implementation arrangements to strengthen advisory services, using multi-stakeholder country forums. The event brought together 50 participants from 14 countries. Participants included funding and implementing partners of EAS, directors of extension, country forum focal persons, and EAS resource persons and related institutions from the region and beyond.

Summary of key results and recommendations of this event are available here

The event was sponsored Feed the Future Developing Local Extension Capacity Project with the Regional Community of Practice Convening with the West and Central Africa Network for Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services for (RESCAR-AOC) and the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS).