Enhancing the potential of family farming for poverty reduction and food security through gender-sensitive rural advisory services

Rural advisory services (RAS) can play an important role in addressing gender inequalities. However, RAS programmes have often fallen short of expectations to design and implement relevant services to help rural women and men achieve food security and generate more income. This paper is based on an examination of a broad selection of existing literature on gender-sensitive RAS. 

It looks at gender-differentiated barriers in access to RAS and challenges of effectively targeting women family farmers when delivering these services. Examples of good practices are provided that have been successful in responding to women farmers’ specific requirements in supporting their economic empowerment. The paper provides recommendations on what can be done to improve the gender-sensitivity of RAS. It offers a reflection on actions needed to ensure that good practices and lessons learnt translate into the design and provision of demand-driven and gender-sensitive RAS for improved food security and poverty reduction.

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