From 17 to 21 November 2014, the Central Asia and the Caucasus Association of Agricultural Research Institutes (CACAARI) and the Central Asia and the Caucasus Forum for Rural Advisory Services (CAC-FRAS), in collaboration with GFAR (Global Forum on Agricultural Research), MEAS (Modernising Extension and Advisory Services), ICARDA (International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas), IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute) and other partners, will organise a joint Regional Conference on Rural Advisory Services in the Bishkek region of the Kyrgyz Republic.
Poor linkages between researchers, advisory services systems, farmers, especially women farmers, private sector stakeholders and policy makers are a common issue in the countries in the Central Asia and the Caucasus (CAC) region. The unsystematic level of interaction undermines the ability of farmers to access and introduce innovative technologies and practices on their farms, and thus deprives them of innovation-based opportunities to improve their productivity, profitability and their livelihoods. In view of this challenge, CACAARI (Central Asia and the Caucasus Association of Agricultural Research Institutes) and CAC-FRAS (Central Asia and the Caucasus Forum for Rural Advisory Services), a still informal regional platform of GFRAS (Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services), have decided to join efforts and undertake joint actions towards strengthening Rural Advisory Service Systems in the region. The goals are to learn from each other, develop common approaches, and coordinate efforts to strengthen agricultural innovation systems in the region.
The objectives of the joint Regional Conference on Rural Advisory Services are the following:
Concerning Rural Advisory Services:
- Establish a common understanding on status, strengths and weaknesses of the rural advisory services systems in the CAC region by sharing and discussing the results of a mapping of the RAS systems in the different countries, and prepare the ground for a comprehensive assessment of the rural advisory service systems in the CAC region.
- Share evidence of the effectiveness and importance of rural advisory services through the presentation of a number of case studies.
- Discuss models of government policies and support for rural advisory service systems and their advantages and disadvantages in different frame conditions, and provide recommendations to the governments in the region.
- Define foresight mechanisms for agricultural development in the CAC region.
- Agree on regional actions towards the implementation of the GCARD Roadmap based on national reviews and a joint synthesis.
- Present and discuss results of CACAARI governance review and decide on ways forward.
- Determine the future form of CAC-FRAS.
- Agree on actions leading up to the global GFRAS Annual Meeting 2015, which will take place in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Advisory service professionals, government policy makers concerned with advisory services, representatives of national agricultural research systems, other professionals in agricultural innovation systems, and clients of advisory services from the region, are the core target participants. In addition, participants from GFRAS, GFAR and international organisations (e.g. CGIAR Research Programs in the region, FAO, IFPRI) dealing with rural advisory services will be attracted.
Announcement (pdf 329KB)
Updated Agenda (pdf 884KB)
Photo credit: ©FAO/Sergey Kozmin