Advisory services help rural people develop their own technical, organisational, and management skills and practices.
Photo: Zoonar/W.G. Allgoewer
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No doubt advisory services play an important role in rural development. However, efforts made in establishing such services have not always met with success. Assessing local factors, recruiting suitable staff, and finding the right structures for provision and financing are among the issues that count in developing sustainable advisory services.

Rural advisory services (RAS) and training are critical knowledge sharing institutions that help to support responsible investments in value chains and innovation systems. RAS are crucial to putting farmers’ needs at the centre of rural development, ensuring sustainable food security and poverty reduction, and dealing with risks and uncertainty.

There is renewed attention on the importance of advisory services and extension in rural development processes, including value chain development. This is due in part to new challenges such as climate change and globalisation. These challenges imply new roles and therefore new capacities for rural advisory services and the clientele that they serve. Training institutions are important too, for developing these new capacities and for enhancing existing ones.

Rural advisory services and their role in value chains

Rural advisory services, also called extension services, are the different activities that provide the information and services needed by farmers, their families, and other stakeholders in rural settings.

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