Accelerating Digital Extension Advisory Services (DEAS) in post COVID-19 Context

  • 14th May 2020
  • by secretary

14 May 2020. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are providing policy recommendations, guidelines and tools to improve Extension Advisory Services (EAS) systems, in order to build resilience of smallholders to crises and disasters.

Recording and presentation forthcoming

The International Forum on Innovation in Agri-Food Systems to achieve SDGs, postponed due to the current COVID-19 spread, was intended to showcase agricultural innovation success stories in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region and elsewhere through an Innovation Fair and various technical sessions and panels. Out of 118 proposals, the selected top 20 stories represents 17 countries out of which are 8 from outside the NENA region with 8 success stories.

As the world is currently struggling to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and the farmers in countries including NENA region are facing dual burden i.e., inadequate health services coupled with timely extension services for sustaining their livelihoods.

The digital disruption in EAS may define the extension in the context of aggregation, traceability; quick and responsive advisories, finance and digital coordination of supply chain etc., The future of EAS will depend on how well the new extension functionalities are built into the extension organizations.

The Zoominar addressed the following questions:

  • What are the opportunities and challenges of digital extension strategies, especially under COVID-19 circumstances?
  • How could emerging Digital Apps be integrated into the broader extension frameworks?
  • What role could we (IFAD, FAO and partners) play to facilitate implementation and scaling of these innovations?
  • Introduction: Dina Saleh, Sub-Regional Director Middle East and North Africa – International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • Shaik N Meera, Principal Scientist (Agriculture Extension) Federal Coordinator Frontline Demonstrations Program – Indian Council of Agricultural Research
  • Tawanda Hove, Head of Digital Agriculture and ICT for Development (ICT4D) – Welthungerhilfe
  • Marco Brini, Digital Agriculture International Expert, CTO and Founder – EnvEve
  • Nevena Alexandrova, Agricultural Extension Officer of Research and Extension Unit (AGDR), FAO
  • Adel Zekaizak, National Project Officer, Digital Agricultural Extension and Communication Services – FAO RNE