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Integration of nutrition in agriculture extension services in Africa










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    Enabling "Response-ability
    A stocktaking of farmer field schools on smallholder forestry and agroforestry
    2023
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    Forestry and agroforestry education and extension programmes for forest and farm communities have not kept up with needs in many places. However, the success of achieving international sustainability goals and implementing global commitments with respect to sustainable production, halting land degradation, ecosystem restoration and climate change mitigation is contingent on having capacity in place at local levels, or building it, across a large part of the world’s rural lands. This publication reviews the current and potential application of farmer field schools (FFS) to strengthen the capacities and skills of smallholders and family framers in sustainable forestry and agriculture production. From 2020 to 2021, FAO conducted a stocktaking study to identify opportunities, challenges and lessons learned in the application of the Farmer Field Schools (FFS) approach on forestry and agroforestry. Through the review of over 400 documents (peer-reviewed and grey literature), 36 in-depth key informant interviews and a stakeholder workshop, this stocktaking identified twenty-one majors FFS programmes in forestry and agroforestry, with over 200 000 graduates distributed across every region of the Global South. Three decades of FFS experience on forestry, particularly agroforestry, has taken place in multiple geographic, environmental, and social contexts – from arid and semi-arid savannahs to high rainfall mountain environments. This experience represents a diverse, well-tested, decentralized and, locally situated knowledge base on which to build future programmes aiming at strengthening farmers and forest dwellers’ capacity to create sustainable agricultural systems that include trees and perennial crops. This stocktaking argues that though enhanced understanding of agro-ecological dynamics and farmer-led experimentation, the FFS can enable farmers across the globe to sustain or improve productivity while reducing their dependence on externally based inputs. Forestry and agroforestry applications promise to enhance the environmental integrity and socio-economic impacts of FFS, mainly by increasing the presence of perennials in production systems, useful for stabilizing food security and strengthening on-farm ecosystem services.
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    Towards inclusive Pluralistic Service Systems
    Insights for innovative thinking
    2017
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    A growing variety of public and private rural advisory services are available today, leading to increasingly pluralistic service systems (PSS) – in which advisory services are provided by different actors and funded from different sources.  PSS have emerged in many countries as a response to a decline in public sector extension and the increasing demand for tailored, diverse and market-oriented services. Private companies, non-governmental organizations and producer organizations, today play mor e active roles alongside traditional public sector providers. The diversity of service providers in PSS has the potential to make services more inclusive, responsive to demand, context-specific and based on multiple knowledge sources. This is particularly relevant, as farmers are highly diverse, differing in resources, gender, market access, crops and livestock systems, and therefore require different types of information and services to achieve sustainable productivity growth and better livelih oods. Based on extensive literature review, the paper provides an overview of the current state of knowledge on “inclusive pluralistic service systems”, examining the need for demand-driven service provision, the diverse providers and approaches to service delivery, and the policy considerations and institutional challenges constraining the operation of inclusive PSS.
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    Bioslurry = Brown gold?
    A review of scientific literature on the co-product of biogas production
    2013
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    In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in anaerobic digestion of farm and household residues in many parts of the world. Smallholder biogas digesters and community biogas plants can be found all throughout Asia, but also progressively in Latin America and Africa. Anaerobic digestion produces two main outputs: biogas and bioslurry, the digestate or digester effluent. While biogas is used to produce energy, the large potential of bioslurry has often been overlooked. A l arge part of both the scientific and grey literature focuses on the production of energy alone, but does not venture into the multiple uses and intricacies of bioslurry use. Technical organizations such as NGOs, extension services and local universities and, last but not least, smallholders themselves, are often not fully aware of the multiple benefits of bioslurry use, nor do they know of the risks associated with handling and applying it on their farm.This review therefore attempts t o synthesize the findings of the growing peer-reviewed literature on bioslurry to provide a sound and scientific basis for bioslurry use. At the same time, it sets out to identify the various research gaps related to bioslurry.

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