The MAFF approach extends far beyond just knowledge transfer on agricultural production. It is focusing on the farmers and their family farms and addresses both the economic and social contexts. Exchange between farmers about their results is supported in regular meetings.
Photo: Marine Rouchousse

11.03.2014

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The aim of the “Management advice for family farms” (MAFF) approach is to strengthen the abilities of farmers to manage their farms and improve their economic and social autonomy. In Francophone Africa, this holistic concept has been applied successfully for almost two decades.

In West Africa, the partial withdrawal of the state from agricultural extension functions has led to the rise of a pluralistic form of advisory services being provided by various actors. However, these new actors (non-governmental organisations – NGOs, producer organisations – POs, agro-industrial companies, etc.) have assumed the advisory role only partially. Moreover, their advisory approaches are geared to meet their own specific objectives. Breaking with the old top-down extension practices to promote more participatory approaches is not easy. In addition, governments are struggling to finance advisory actors in a context of limited budgetary resources. They are also having difficulties promoting the development of innovative advisory mechanisms to help meet the plurality of producer needs or to extend support for new approaches outside of project-based schemes. It is in this context that MAFF (Management Advice for Family Farms) approaches have been promoted in Francophone Africa for nearly two decades, first with the support of French co-operation entities.

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