Farmers nationwide face a wide variety of risks. These include climate and weather, pests and diseases, and natural catastrophes. These risks can cause fluctuations in production, which damage livelihoods and contribute to consumer price volatility. The burden of risk is particularly heavy for smallholders in developing countries. However, more solutions are becoming available to manage risks, and extension services can play a key role.
The purpose of IFA Advisory is to disseminate advice to farmers. Knowledge gaps contribute to yield more gaps. Services and quality inputs are essential productivity-enhancing tools. However, their optimum use requires knowledge, which comes primarily from extension advisors. The knowledge farmers need goes beyond production. It includes price and market information, water and soil management, post-harvest management, fertilizer components, and an understanding of product quality determinants and safety standards. Some farmer marshals and command knowledge on their own. The “resource-poor” majority, however, which includes most smallholders, depend on external, science-based extension to complement local knowledge for improved farming, risk management and better access to markets.