Webinar Recording: Extension and Advisory Services Roles in COVID-19
There is increasing concern that the COVID-19 pandemic will have dire consequences for food security unless adequate safeguards are established: Food supply chains must continue to function, the health of food system workers protected, and measures taken to ease the economic blow from lost incomes. Information, advice, and coaching for rural producers and other food chain actors is necessary at the local level, and this is what extension and advisory services (EAS) are all about. EAS—as a trusted rural communication and education institution—is thus a critical piece of emergency response to such a crisis, providing credible information about the virus and supporting with farming advice to adapt to the various shocks.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not the first time EAS have been called to action in an unfolding disaster. As an institution with trained technical staff who are trusted by communities, and with local reach and communication skills, extension has supported efforts and educated communities during crises such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, avian influenza, natural disasters, and pest infestations.
In this webinar, we review global experiences of EAS during the COVID-19 crisis from a panel of experts and give recommendations to countries to support rural food production and livelihoods. We hear about radio as a communication channel during the crisis, experiences from the US and Iran, and the readiness of African extension for the crisis.