Questions in New Methods of Extension Answered
Though farmers have spent centuries growing food to feed their families, changes—many unforeseen and detrimental, others desired and helpful—have made it necessary to adapt traditional agricultural extension and advisory services to meet growing needs of male and female smallholders.
Through the Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS) consortium, made up of institutions and partners across the US and Feed the Future (FTF) countries, we want to raise farmer incomes, improve nutrition knowledge and practices in families, and make sure smallholders are eating enough quality food.
Yes, this is a complicated endeavor, but we have the experience of several land-grant universities in the U.S. specializing in crop science research, social behavior studies, and community development practice as well as respected international organizations working directly with farming communities to help make this happen.
We’ve spent years learning important lessons from successes and failures, developing methods and using pilot programs to test and scale up best practices, and we want to share these with you.
Below you will find resources from the MEAS library contributed from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Catholic Relief Services, University of Michigan, University of California, Davis, ECHO, Cornell University, the World Agroforestry Center and others.
How might public and private extension systems work together to improve services? Learn about experiences in Ghana and Colombia:
- Private Sector Extension Activities Targeting Small Farmers in Developing Countries
- Savelugu Nanton Extension Delivery Improvement Project (SNEDIP): An Innovative Approach to Institutional Strengthening and Public Private Partnership in Extension
Interested in how farmers get agricultural information so they can get great seeds and keep crops healthy, connect to markets, and get higher prices for goods? Check out some of our Technical Notes and Evaluations on Integrative and Communication Technologies:
- ICT – Powering Behavior Change in Agricultural Extension
- Framework for Designing and Implementing ICT Supported Extension and Information Services
What is the current extension system like in Bangladesh, Malawi or Ghana? Who are the key players and policymakers? What are the barriers to serving female and male farmers well? Read our detailed assessments:
- Assessment of EAS and Approaches to Reach Rural Women: Examples from Bangladesh
- Assessment of Agricultural Extension, Nutrition Education, and Integrated Agriculture-Nutrition Extension Services in the FTF Districts in Malawi
- Agricultural Extension Policy Forum in Ghana
How can extension agents help farmers adapt to the negative effects of climate change and better manage resources as water supplies dwindle and pests threaten entire crops? Use our handbooks and guides specifically made for extension workers:
- Pocket Guide 1: Extension Practice for Agricultural Adaptation
- Pocket Guide 3: Managing Water Resources
- Identification and Control of Major Diseases and Insect Pests of Vegetables and Melons in Georgia
Do you need easy-to-use materials (they’re free!) to help facilitate workshops and train extension agents to integrate gender equity and nutrition knowledge into their practices? Print out our gender and nutrition guide:
What is the difference between farmer-led and farmer-to-farmer teaching methods, and what are some examples that you might emulate? Look at our series on farmer-to-farmer extension and farmer-led systems:
- Farmer-to-Farmer Extension: Issues in Planning and Implementation
- The Farmer-to-Farmer Extension Approach in Malawi: A Survey of Lead Farmers
MEAS is led by a management team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and partners with many technical specialists from U.S. and international institutions and organizations and is made possible by the support of USAID and the U.S. Government.
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