Challenge 3: Science-based innovation and extension
A well-developed science and knowledge-based extension service is crucial for improving smallholder productivity and profitability in a sustainable way. Unfortunately, extension services for small-scale farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and South-East Asia are often inadequate and have not been able to absorb and make use of rapid scientific and technological changes in the field of agriculture. In addition, the often existing broad blanket recommendations leave little incentive for local adaption that is crucial for efficient use of resources.
Furthermore, to disseminate and scale up knowledge and innovations, extension services and agricultural research and innovation systems need to be more strongly connected to each other and to farmers. The focus of this AgriFoSe2030 challenge will be the “linkage problem” in the science – innovation - extension – adoption chain. This covers both the chain itself and specific management interventions or practices related to sustainably increased agricultural productivity.
An important focus area is to map and compare pathways for how scientists interact with innovation actors, including the private sector, and extension services under different settings. Special attention will be given to access to new technologies and science-based extension by women, youth and vulnerable groups. Studies on technology and knowledge adoption of specific extension services interventions building on recent science 11 and innovations within crop and animal production in small-scale agricultural systems will also be included here.