Media alert - Regional Forum to Advance Pacific Community Agriculture
Research, Extension and Advisory Services (REAS) are integral components for agricultural production and food and income security for rural communities. However, in most Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs), REAS face many challenges to meet the increasing demands for expanded role and effective services. Declining public funding has led to reduction in staff and inadequate operational budgets.
As a consequence, most public extension services are faced with the challenge of limited institutional and human capacity resulting in low coverage with distant and remote areas often poorly served and also weakly integrated into local and export markets. The often perceived problem is absence of favourable policies and limited linkage and synergy between research and extension programs.
It is increasingly recognised that if REAS have to effectively support farmers in addressing the new challenges in agricultural development, there is a need to strengthen its linkages and cooperation with a wide range of stakeholders and organisations.