Publications and Portals


Guy Faure, Yann Desjeux & Pierre Gasselin (2012): New Challenges in Agricultural Advisory Services from a Research Perspective: A Literature Review, Synthesis and Research Agenda, The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 18:5, 461-492.

  • Feder, Gershon; Birner, Regina; Anderson, Jock R. 2011. The private sector’s role in agricultural extension systems:  potential and limitations. Journal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies. Vol. 1 No. 1, 2011. pp. 31-54.

  • Garforth, Christopher. 2011. Education, training and extension for food producers. Science review: SR16B. Foresight Project on Global Food and Farming Futures.
  • Rivera, W. 2001. Whither Agricultural Extension Worldwide? Reforms and Prospects. In: Wolf, S. and
    Zilberman, D. (eds.), Knowledge Generation and Technical Change: Institutional Innovation in
    Agriculture. University of California, Berkeley. 
  • Secretariat of the Pacific Community (2010): Developing a Policy Framework for Extension Systems Policy, Policy Brief 12/2010
  • Spielmann, David; Birner, Regina (2012). How Innovative Is Your Agriculture? Using Innovation Indicators and Benchmarks to Strengthen National Agricultural Innovation Systems.  ARD, the Worldbank.
  • Swanson, Burton E., Bentz, Robert P., Sofranko, Andrew J. 1997. Improving Agricultural Extension. A Reference Manual. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 1997. Improving agricultural extension: a reference manual was prepared under a contract between FAO and the International Program for Agricultural Knowledge System (INTERPAKS), College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States.
  • Swanson, Burton E. and Rajalahti, Riikka (2010): Strengthening Agricultural Extension and Advisory Systems: Procedures for Assessing, Transforming, and Evaluating Extension Systems. Agriculture and Rural Development Discussion Paper 45. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank.,

World Bank

Agricultural Innovation Systems: An Investment Sourcebook

The content of the AIS Sourcebook is presented in 7 thematic Modules. Each Module covers a theme related to assessing and designing investments in a particular area integral to the AIS.

ARD Agricultural and Rural Development Discussion Papers, published by the World Bank. Click here for a complete listing. Click the titles of selected publications below to download them directly from the source.
  • Rivera, William and Alex, Gary (editors) (2004): Decentralized Systems. Case Studies of International Initiatives. Agriculture and Rural Development Discussion Paper 8. Extension Reform for Rural Development. Volume 1. The World Bank, Agricultural and Rural Development, Washington, D.C.
  • Rivera, William and Alex, Gary (editors) (2004): Privatization of Extension Systems. Case Studies of International Initiatives. Agriculture and Rural Development Discussion Paper 9. Extension Reform for Rural Development. Volume 2. The World Bank, Agricultural and Rural Development, Washington, D.C.
  • Rivera, William and Alex, Gary (editors) (2004): Demand-Driven Approaches to Agriculture Extension. Case Studies of International Initiatives. Agriculture and Rural Development Discussion Paper 10. Extension Reform for Rural Development. Volume 3. The World Bank, Agricultural and Rural Development, Washington, D.C.
  • Rivera, William and Alex, Gary (editors) (2004): Revitalization Within Public Sector Services. Agriculture and Rural Development Discussion Paper 11. Extension Reform for Rural Development. Volume 4. The World Bank, Agricultural and Rural Development, Washington, D.C.
  • Rivera, William and Alex, Gary (editors) (2004): Extension Reform for Rural Development. Agriculture and Rural Development Discussion Paper 12. Extension Reform for Rural Development. Volume 5. The World Bank, Agricultural and Rural Development, Washington, D.C.

Global Forum For Rural Agricultural Services, GFRAS

GFRAS publications can be accessed at



We recommend reading the first volume completely and then to use the others for reference purposes.

Volume I:  Basic Issues and Concepts [Ed. by V. Hoffmann, Maria Gerster-Bentaya, A. Christinck and M. Lemma]

Volume one lays out basic issues and concepts of agricultural extension in a problemorientated, demand driven and sys-temic/systematic approach. Improve the design, planning and implementation of work programs and activities, enhancing the quality of advisory work for the benefit of both client and society alike.   

Volume II: Examples and Background Materials [Ed. by V. Hoffmann, A. Christinck and M. Lemma]

The second volume supplements and illustrates the first by providing a wide range of practical examples and background materials. 

Volume III:  [Ed. by Maria Gerster-Bentaya and Volker Hoffmann] 

The completely new third volume is of special interest to those involved in the training of extension workers as well as to academic staff. It provides comprehensive guidance and assistance in areas such as training concepts and tools, course outlines and modules.  

Agro Insight: 


Various Others

  • Del Castello, Ricardo, and Braun, P.M. 2006. Framework on Effective Rural Communication for Development. Published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH.
  • Gabathuler, E., Bachmann, F., Kläy, A. 2011.  Reshaping rural extension: Learning for sustainabilty. Published by CTA, Margraf, 112pp ISBN 978-3-8236-1604-7. CTA no. 1623. 

"This book is about reaching small-scale farmers more effectively and providing support they need to earn a better livelihood from their agricultural activities. At the centre of this book is an integrative and learning-oriented approach for extension that enhances the economic, ecological and social dimensions of rural sustainability. Two in-depth experiences illustrate how rural extension has been reshaped by this approach. LforS, or “learning for sustainability”, appears to be a truly innovative method as applied in Madagascar to rural afforestation and in Mongolia to organisational development. I highly recommend this book to all persons engaged in rural extension, both in developed and developing countries." (from CTA website, July 2011)

  • The final AgriFoodResults report provides recommendations that should be considered to achieve success in communicating results from research projects in the food sector. While this report was written based on conditions in the European Union and targets the Food sector as a whole, many of the principles highlighted here apply to improving  communication and adaptation of innovations in the agricultural production sector even in developing countries.


Workshop and Conference Proceedings

  • Communicated Knowledge - From Good Practice to Systematic Change
    Presentations from the Assisi Workshop, jointly organized by GTZ and FAO  from 18-22 June, 2007. The aim was to bring together experts and practitioners working in the areas of communication for development, research and knowledge management to discuss current issues and share their practical experiences in rural development settings.


Forum for Agricultural Risk Managment in Development,

Farmer Field Schools

SDC Agricultural and Food Security Network - Focus Area Rural Advisory Services

AKIS, Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems for Rural Development

ELDIS: Sharing the best in development policy, practice and research. 

Future Agricultures Consortium

IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute

IFPRI  Food Security Portal

composite image of Food Security portal toolsNew tools to support the global food security discussion  Visit the portal

Key sections of the Portal
News - visualization of food security hotspots; email subscription feature
Food for thought - blog featuring new issues for discussion each week and opportunity for comment
Country profiles - key food security indicators and news at the country level
Datastore - comprehensive, regularly updated datasets for easy monitoring of price changes at global and country level
Tools for Analysis - commodities graphs; annotated commodity price timelines; terms of trade effect tool; short-run impact of releasing food stocks simulator; welfare simulators

KDID, the Knowledge-Driven International Development Portal

This is a family of websites established to help increase the overall effectiveness of development assistance by providing enhanced knowledge-sharing and learning opportunities to connect development practitioners and leverage innovation and good practice. More...

FANRPAN, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network

Research and Development Organizations

CTA, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA)
  • CTA is an ACP-EU institution that promotes communication in rural development. It offers a wealth of publications, newsletters on extension, ICT training, agriculture, trade and other themes.
CIRAD, Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement

GFAR, Global Forum on Agricultural Research

FARA, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa,

IAASTD, International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development,

ICRA, International Centre for Development Oriented Research in Agriculture

IDRC, International Development Research Centre "supports research in developing countries to promote growth and development. The result is innovative, lasting local solutions that aim to bring choice and change to those who need it most."

IFAD, International Fund for Agricultural Development ,

KIT Sustainable Economic
KIT generates and shares applied knowledge, derived from practice, to improve the performance of companies and organisations that pursue sustainable and inclusive agricultural development.

ODI, Overseas Development Institute,

  • Creating a policy Environment for Pro-Poor Agricultural Extension: The Who, What? and How? John Farrington, Ian Christoplos, Andrew Kidd and Malin Beckman with Elizabeth Cromwell. ODI Natural Resource Perspectives,  Number 80, May 2002,
A full report on this topic is also available: "Extension, Poverty and Vulnerability: The Scope for Policy Reform - Final Report
ODI Working Papers 155, March 2002. 

A related book was published by ODI in January 2004: "Poverty, vulnerability, and agricultural extension: Policy reforms in a globalizing world". Ian Christoplos and John Farrington (eds). This book analyses the relevance of agricultural extension to poverty and how far the system facilitates economic and social development among small and marginal farmers. The analytical framework is supported by empirical material - primary data in Bolivia, Colombia, Nicaragua, Uganda; secondary data in a range of countries including India. This makes for authoritative conclusions on the scope for action by governments and donors and will be of interest to policy-makers, technocrats, and NGOs concerned with the design and delivery of assistance programmes, researchers, agricultural universities, and students concerned with extension issues.

Decentralisation and Governance. Background paper - Key Sheets for Sustainable Livelihoods Policy Planning and Implementation - 11, March 2002. Edited by John Farrington.

Over the last few years the debate on decentralisation has focused on:
  • the advantages of decentralised governance in terms of poverty reduction, political participation, government accountability, responsiveness of public policies and service delivery;
  • the limitations to what decentralisation can achieve and the balance between centralisation and decentralisation: which areas are best addressed by which level of government?
  • the reform of the state and systems of governance that decentralisation requires and facilitates, as decentralisation alters the structure and institutions of governance;
  • the political, financial, administrative and capacity preconditions for successful decentralisation.

Non-Farm Income in Rural Areas. Background paper - Key Sheets for Sustainable Livelihoods Policy Planning and Implementation - 14, October 2001. Edited by John Farrington.

DFID, the UK Department for International Development

NRI, Natural Resources Institute

RIU, Research Into Use: Sharing lessons to enable innovation in agriculture.

TECA, Technologies for Agriculture

  • TECA is an FAO initiative that aims at improving access to information and knowledge sharing about proven technologies in order to enhance their adoption in agriculture, livestock, fisheries and forestry thus addressing food security, climate change, poverty alleviation and sustainable development. The emphasis is on proven technologies for smallholders.

ASTI Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators

  • Internationally comparable data on agricultural research and development investments and capacity for developing countries,

Cornell University Albert Mann Libary

  • TEEAL is a digital collection of research journals for agriculture and related sciences. Researchers, students, faculty and librarians can discover and access thousands of full-text PDF articles without the use of the internet. TEEAL is available to institutions in income-eligible countries.

Online Catalogues and Databases

NAL, National Agricultural Library (USDA)

NAL houses one of the world's largest and most accessible agricultural information collections and serves as the nexus for a national network of state land-grant and U.S. Department of Agriculture field libraries. In fiscal year 2005 (Oct 2004 through Sept 2005) NAL delivered more than 80 million direct customer service transactions. Vision: Advancing access to global information for agriculture.

  • The NAL Catalog (AGRICOLA) provides citations to Agriculture, agricultural products, animal science, aquatic science, fisheries, feed science, food science, human nutrition and rural sociology.

Web of Knowledge

ISI Web of knowledge is an integrated platform supporting research in academic, corporate, government, and not for profit organizations. ISI citation databases are multidisciplinary databases of bibliographic information indexed to be searched by...

Tropag & Rural

TROPAG & RURAL, produced by the Information, Library and Documentation department of the Royal Tropical Institute, The Netherlands, are two databases containing full bibliographic references with abstracts to the worldwide literature on agriculture.

AgEcon Search: Research in Agricultural and Applied Economics
AgEcon Search is a free, open access repository of full-text scholarly literature in agricultural and applied economics, including:
* Working papers
* Conference papers
* Journal articles


FAO, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

A broad overview of agricultural extension issues is given, including the assessment of alternative extension systems, policies, strategies and approaches, addressing extension management and extension-research-education linkages. Extension programmes and methodological tools tailored to farmers' needs are offered.

AGORA is a programme to provide free or low cost access to major scientific journals in agriculture and related biological, environmental and social sciences to public institutions in developing countries. Launched in October 2003, AGORA provides access to 1278 journals from the world's leading academic publishers. Led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the goal of AGORA is to improve the quality and effectiveness of agricultural research, education and training in low-income countries and, in turn, to improve food security.

Agrifeeds is an aggregator and filter for agricultural news, events and job announcements. All organizations and individuals who produce such information can register their feeds through this service. Users of Agrifeeds can aggregate and filter the feeds registered through the service to generate customized feeds for their own websites or feed readers. Agrifeeds is one of the services developed under the CIARD initiative.

The CDR is a digital library of publications produced by FAO, current and past. Documents can be browsed on-line and/or downloaded for further reference and reading. It enables users to easily access the accumulated knowledge produced by FAO directly on the Internet and to find valuable information on agriculture, food security and other essential areas of FAO's work.

The David Lubin Memorial Library is considered to be one of the world's finest collections in food, agriculture and international development. Through the library web site, researchers have access to FAO publications and technical documents; publications produced by FAO partners and other important players in the field of international development, and databases that can be used to identify key publications produced in all major fields of FAO expertise.

The FAO Open Archive initiative (FAO OA) will provide open access to FAO’s digital information and knowledge assets, adopting international standards for information exchange. The FAO OA integrates the metadata and workflow aspects of the FAO Corporate Document Respository with those of the FAO Library Catalogue, offering a streamlined procedure for collecting, managing and disseminating the information and knowledge resources published by FAO.

FAO publications aim at developing and improving the efficiency of food production and distribution worldwide, and deal with a wide range of technical and normative aspects. FAO publishes titles on plant and animal protection, genetics, land and water development, forestry, fisheries, nutrition, food standards and commodities trade, economic and social policy, environmental monitoring, legislation and investment, and all general aspects of the world food situation.

The FAO Country Profiles portal re-organizes a vast amount of information and knowledge available on the FAO Web Site, providing one-stop access to this information relevant to, and associated with, each FAO member country. It also offers links to a selected number of external resources, again organized by country.

CIARD, Coherence in Information Research for Development,

The CIARD initiative is working to make agricultural research information publicly available and more accessible. CGIAR, GFAR and FAO collaborate to create a community for efficient knowledge sharing in agricultural research and development. CIARD works with organizations that hold information or that create new knowledge – to help them disseminate it more efficiently and make it easier to

The Worldbank and

RePEc (Research Papers in Economics) is a collaborative effort of hundreds of volunteers in 73 countries to enhance the dissemination of research in economics. The heart of the project is a decentralized database of working papers, journal articles and software components. All RePEc material is freely available.

IDEAS: the complete RePEc database at your disposal. Working papers, journal articles, software components, author information, directory of institutions.