national policies wtEvery country has developed, formulated, and decreed national policies related to rural advisory services. Find some examples here. If you are looking for a national policy from a specific country, please use the search function, selecting the category “National policies” and the tag for the country.

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The need for nutrition-sensitive agriculture is well recognized and of growing interest to global development players. Extension and advisory services (EAS), with their established infrastructure, provide a unique opportunity for nutrition interventions to be implemented at scale with significant reach.  To assess current integration of nutrition in EAS, document training provided to EAS agents, and identify challenges and opportunities for the integration of nutrition.  Methods: A mixed methodology was used, which included a systematic literature review covering the following databases: PubMed, ISI Web of Science, Agris, Google Scholar, Econlit, and IBSS. In addition, online surveys and semistructured key informant interviews with stakeholders were performed. Data were collected between December 2012 and June 2013.

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Linking agricultural extension and advisory service (EAS) with participatory learning and action on nutrition and health has the potential to improve the sustainability and impact of food and agricultural programmes on nutrition and household food security. Due to their established structure/network and their greater reach to the community of whom they often already have the trust, agricultural extension and advisory workers (EAW) are probably the best resource to help achieve nutrition security through nutrition education to farmers. In  order to do so, the extension workers must receive nutrition and nutrition education training. This desk review aims at mapping how nutrition is currently being mainstreamed into agricultural EAS preOservice and inOservice training and to give recommendation on the way forward.

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The context in which extension operates has changed dramatically in recent decades. As a result, there is a renewed interest in extension and an interest in changing traditional approaches to extension. With that renewed interest comes demand for information and analysis. 

The overall goal of this report is to provide up-to-date information on key topics related to extension knowledge and perspectives and to enable decision makers to identify areas where (1) further evidence on extension through commissioned research is needed, and (2) extension investment practices should be reconsidered. 

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In April 2014, at the invitation of USAID/Malawi, a MEAS team conducted an assessment of agricultural extension, nutrition education, and integrated agriculture-nutrition programs and systems in Malawi. An overarching purpose of the assessment is to investigate these programs and systems across public, private, and civil society sector providers with the aim of informing the design of an activity that will strengthen delivery of extension and nutrition outreach services in the seven Feed the Future focus districts in a coordinated and integrated manner. 

The assessment methodology includes literature review, interviews and field visits, and an assessment review workshop. The team reviewed agriculture extension, nutrition, and integrated programming literature; carried-out over 55 individual and group interviews; and made field trips to three districts. The review workshop, in which over 25 stakeholders from across sectors participated, was held to present preliminary findings of the assessment and obtain further input from stakeholders. 

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In Ghana, majority (60%) of the population lives in rural areas and depends either directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihood and survival. Agriculture plays an important role in economic growth, food security, poverty reduction, livelihoods, rural development and the environment (Green et al., 2005). Growth in the agricultural sector stimulates higher rates of growth in the economy through forward linkage activities such as processing and transportation, and backward linkages like the provision of services to the sector, with further growth spurred as a result of spending incomes earned from all these productive activities (MoFA, 2003; UN, 2008; Winter-Nelson and Aggrey-Fynn, 2008).

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Objectives: To review the impact of agriculture interventions on nutritional status in participating households, and to analyse the characteristics of interventions that improved nutrition outcomes. Design: We identified and reviewed reports describing 30 agriculture interventions that measured impact on nutritional status. The interventions reviewed included home gardening, livestock, mixed garden and livestock, cash cropping, and irrigation. We examined the reports for the scientific quality of the research design and treatment of the data.We also assessed whether the projects invested in five types of ‘capital’ (physical, natural, financial, human and social) as defined in the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework, a conceptual map of major factors that affect people’s livelihoods.

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Farmer Field Schools evolved initially to address the challenge of ecological heterogeneity and local specificity in pest management, by supporting ecologically-informed decision-making by farmers that would allow them to reduce pesticide use, improve crop management and secure better profit margins. 

Classic FFSs rely for their effects on the development of learner-centred curricula for experiential learning that takes place in the field, allowing producers to observe, measure, analyse, assess and interpret key agro-ecosystem relationships as the basis for making informed management decisions. The adult education concepts and principles that underlie the design of curricula and of the learning cycle process have proven robust in all areas where FFSs have been developed. 

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Sub-Saharan Africa remains the world’s most food-insecure region in spite of its abundant agricultural potential. In an attempt to contribute towards overcoming this problem, an agricultural development approach known as RIPAT (Rural Initiatives for Participatory Agricultural Transformation) has been developed over the period since 2006 through a series of projects in northern Tanzania. 

It has for decades been anticipated by development actors that pro-poor agricultural development interventions would be the direct route to improved nutrition among smallholder farm families. However, it is difficult to find evidence that documents such linkage – partly because of poor quality evaluations, but also because it has been realised that agricultural development interventions must be designed to a much larger extent with a nutritional lens and must take into account what types of agricultural component can lead to improved nutrition. We provide research evidence of improved rural food and nutrition security following the application of the RIPAT approach. 

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Agriculture and food systems play a central role in nutrition by supplying nutritious, healthy and affordable foods. When integrated with nutrition education for behaviour change, agricultural interventions that supply diverse affordable foods from all food groups have great scope for improving young child and family diets. In 2014, process reviews were conducted in Cambodia and Malawi of food security projects that provided agricultural support and community‐based nutrition education on improved infant and young child feeding (IYCF). In both countries, household visits were carried outwithmothers/caregivers, and interviews and FocusGroupDiscussions (FGDs)were conductedwith purposively selected project stakeholders (53 in Cambodia, 170 inMalawi), including government staff from the agriculture and health sectors. Results highlight that adoption of improved IYCF practices was facilitated by participation in nutrition education and practical cooking sessions, and supportive family and community structures. Barriers faced by families and caregivers were identified, such as women's workload and lack of access to high quality foods, namely fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and animal source foods. Implementation challenges regarding coordination of cross‐sectoral targeting strategies and capacities of extension services to sustain community‐ based IYCF nutrition education need to be addressed to improve programme effectiveness and impact. The project lessons from Cambodia and Malawi are useful for integrated agriculture IYCF nutrition education programmes to help ensure better young child nutrition outcomes.

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Eastern and Central Africa continue to face acute and chronic food and nutrition insecurity1. Combined with a high incidence of HIV, food security continues to affect the nutrition and health status of poor households. There is growing recognition of the vital importance of expanding agricultural development capacity to include nutrition objectives, particularly in agricultural extension and training. The adoption of participatory extension approaches, such as the Farmer Field School (FFS), provides additional opportunities to move agricultural development beyond productivity and yield goals to more effectively contributing to improved nutritional outcomes.

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