Global Brain Trust of Influential Experts Gathering in Nairobi to Bolster Faltering Support for Agriculture Extension and Advisory Services

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Confronting the challenge of ensuring that smallholder farmers can access a treasure trove of agricultural innovations — respond to urgent demands to rapidly boost food production and improve their income—high level officials, experts, farmers and development partners from around the world will gather in Nairobi later this month to breathe new life into the neglected sector of agriculture extension and advisory services.

“Innovations in Extension and Advisory Services: Linking Knowledge to Policy and Action,” will bring together more than 20 Ministers of Agriculture and some 400 leading global experts in agriculture development November 15-18 at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi. This major international conference seeks to bolster faltering support for government agencies, private operators, and individuals who collectively provide a critical link in the field between agriculture knowledge holders and policy makers and millions struggling smallholder farmers, in developing countries and more particularly in Africa.

A media briefing scheduled for 15 November offers an opportunity to explore in depth how extension and advisory services can play a central role in transforming agriculture and bringing food security to the African continent and the rest of the developing world.

When: Tuesday, 15 November 2011 to Friday, 18 November 2011A press briefing will be held on Tuesday, 15 November at 10:30 am
Where: Hilton Nairobi Hotel Mama Ngina StNairobi, Kenya

Key speakers at the conference include:

  • H.E. Dr. Sally J. Kosgei, Minister of Agriculture, Kenya
  • H.E. Dr Agnes Matilda Kalibata, Minister of Agriculture and Human resources, Rwanda
  • H.E. Prof Peter N. Mwanza, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Malawi
  • Dr. Romano Kiome, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya
  • H.E. Joseph Sesay, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Sierra Leone
  • Mr. Michael Hailu, Director, ACP/EU Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), The Netherlands
  • Dr Ben Corrêa da Silva, President, Brazilian Rural Extension Academy & Technical Advisor, Ministry of Agrarian Development, Brazil
  • Ms. Maria Senar Linibi, President, Papua New Guinea Women in Agriculture Development Foundation, Papua New Guinea
  • Professor Volker Hoffman, Professor of Extension, University of Hohenheim, Germany
  • Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency, South Africa
  • Dr. Namanga Ngongi, President Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Kenya
  • Professor Monty Jones, Executive Director, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) & Chair, Global Forum for Agricultural Research, Ghana

 

Background
Agriculture extension and advisory services are viewed as essential to equipping farmers with the information, knowledge, confidence, tools and technologies they need to meet a daunting challenge: doubling food production on over the next few decades to keep pace with rapidly rising populations—even as climate change radically alters growing conditions. The African continent needs special attention.

The Nairobi meeting will focus on mobilizing the national, regional and global knowledge networks needed to help farmers choose from a wide spectrum of productivity-enhancing and other innovations and access resources for meeting market requirements to compete in a constantly changing globalized world. These include cultivating new, high-yield crop varieties; enriching depleted soils; improving livestock productivity and care; adding value and increasing incomes through better market access; and adapting to rising temperatures, decreased rainfall and other stresses induced by climate change.

Delegates will re-assess current practices—and past success and failures—in four interrelated areas: Policy, Capacity Development, Tools and Approaches, and Learning Networks.

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The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint ACP-EU institution active in agricultural and rural development in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. Its mission is to advance food and nutritional security, increase prosperity and encourage sound natural resource management. It does this by providing access to information and knowledge, facilitating policy dialogue and strengthening the capacity of agricultural and rural development institutions and communities in ACP countries.

For more information on CTA visit, www.cta.int or http://extensionconference2011.cta.int

The conference's programme can be accessed