Policy papers

Key documents

Policy pointers

Policy Pointers is a collection of booklets outlining all you need to know on a particular subject in a condensed format. They address the latest key issues of relevance to agricultural and rural development in ACP countries and provide the facts to help you get to grips with the topic. Each booklet is peer-reviewed.

Agricultural extension: A time for change: Linking knowledge to policy and action for food and livelihoods

pp agricultural extension

  • Author: Pye-Smith, C.
  • Published: 2012
  • Series: Policy Pointers

Three-quarters of the worlds poorest billion people live in rural areas, and the vast majority depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and survival. Encouraging the growth of the agricultural sector is therefore one of the most effective ways of tackling poverty and reducing hunger and malnutrition. Smallholder farmers, fisherfolk and livestock keepers produce 50-80 per cent of the staple foods consumed in developing countries, yet many are inadequately served by research, extension and advisory services.

Revitalising these services was the focus of a landmark conference held in Nairobi in November 2011. The International Conference on Innovations in Extension and Advisory Services attracted more than 450 delegates from 85 countries. It brought together farmers, extension agents, scientists, politicians, policy-makers and representatives of development organisations. Their aim was to share knowledge and experiences, and identify ways of transforming extension and advisory services for the benefit of smallholder farmers.

The conference findings are summarised in this booklet. The findings are also enshrined in the Nairobi Declaration, which is printed in full at the end. The declaration can be seen as a rallying call to policy-makers and practitioners, said CTAs Senior Programme Coordinator, Science & Technology Policy, Judith Ann Francis, Efficient, effective, demand-driven extension services are the key to improving the productivity and incomes of the worlds smallholder farmers.

Farmings climate-smart future: Placing agriculture at the heart of climate-change policy

  • pp farmings climate smart futureAuthor: Pye-Smith, C.
  • Published: 2011
  • Series: Policy Pointers

Containing a wealth of up-to-date research and examples, this booklet highlights the cause and effect relationship between agriculture and climate change. Crucially it observes that a range of practices climate-smart agriculture could increase food production, help farmers to become more resilient to global warming and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Yet how widespread these practices become will depend on the importance given to agriculture in international climate change negotiations and national policy-making.

The first chapter examines how farming contributes to human-generated greenhouse gas emissions, and observes the effects of global warming and its impact on agriculture and fisheries. Chapter 2 considers possible solutions: adaption and mitigation strategies that farmers and fishers may adopt. Examples include conservation agriculture, agroforestry and climate-smart livestock farming. Boosting the role of agriculture in climate change negotiations by establishing a work programme and setting up pilot projects is addressed in chapter 3, while chapter 4 briefly reflects on the financial implications of adapting to climate change in the agricultural sector.