UN-FAO hosts RCS technical seminar

UN-FAO hosts RCS technical seminar

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) hosted a technical seminar on Rural Communication Services (RCS) and Inclusive Innovation Approaches for Family Farming on 29 April 2024 held at the Ethiopia Room at the FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy and via live streaming. It was participated in by global experts who shared about their various RCS initiatives.

As part of the ongoing implementation of the United Nations Decade of Family Farming 2019-28 (UNDFF),  the seminar served as an avenue for knowledge-sharing and collaboration among stakeholders. It also highlighted the importance of communication for family farming, propelling family farmers to make transformative changes aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

Attendees also had the opportunity to learn more about FAO-supported Communication for Development (ComDev) initiatives related to RCS and family farming. 

Experts from different ComDev initiatives gave talks on RCS perspectives and innovation approaches taken in pursuit of fostering family farming policies and programs within their organization. 

The morning session focused on tackling RCS perspectives, trends, and initiatives, and how different FAO-supported ComDev initiatives such as ComDev Asia and YenKasa Africa made strides in promoting RCS in family farming policies and initiatives.

Dr. Maria Stella Tirol from the University of the Philippines Los Baños College of Development Communication (UPLB-CDC) presented a roadmap of ComDev Asia’s activities and follow-up actions, highlighting RCS work and advancing RCS initiatives in the next half of the decade.

The afternoon session tackled the use of different inclusive innovation approaches to family farming. 

Dr. Sarah Cardey from the University of Reading emphasized the need for a transdisciplinary approach to addressing rural communities’ complex issues. Apart from that, Cardey underscored the need for innovations that put premium on dynamic communication in supporting farmer-led change in communities. 

Rikin Gandhi from Digital Green talked about participatory video as a tool in facilitating the adoption of innovative farming practices. 

Rural radio, AI chatbots, and farmer field schools (FFS), among others, are other innovative approaches used by different communities to promote a participatory approach to family farming communities worldwide.

The seminar ended with circling back to emphasizing the large role RCS plays in the midpoint of the UNDFF, as ongoing RCS initiatives offer spaces for knowledge-sharing, capacity development, and technical assistance to family farmers worldwide. 

Furthermore, the presentation of a roadmap of priorities and follow-up actions in advancing RCS work sets the tone for the next half of the UNDFF global initiative.

Read more about the UNDFF global action plan through this publication: https://openknowledge.fao.org/items/67870ad5-3698-4b97-87d6-7a3feaa59125 

Missed the seminar? You can find the webinar recording here: https://www.cccomdev.org/rcs-and-inclusive-innovation-approaches-for-family-farming/ 

Article contributed by Darelle Anne Ebron, ComDev Asia/CCComdev Intern.


FAO. (2024, April 29). FAO hosts technical seminar on RCS and inclusive innovation approaches for family farming | E-Agriculture. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. https://www.fao.org/e-agriculture/events/fao-hosts-technical-seminar-rcs-and-inclusive-innovation-approaches-family-farming 

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