This document has been prepared to inspire reflection about the role of communication in advancing family farming. It includes an analysis of examples of ComDev approaches applied to smallholder farming and rural development and the issues that they encompass: food security, natural resource management, rural livelihoods, agricultural innovation, and capacity development. One emerging concept is that of “rural communication services,” which seeks to enhance rural livelihoods by facilitating equitable access to knowledge and information – understood as public goods – along with social inclusion in decision-making and stronger links between rural institutions and local communities. An additional concept pertains to the need to develop national communication for development policies and strategies that focus on the information and communication needs of family farmers and rural communities. Such policies would help to mainstream and institutionalize ComDev approaches at different levels and among all development partners, in particular among governmental agriculture and telecommunication ministries and media regulators but also among farmers’ organizations, rural institutions, community media and the private sector.
Read the report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i4223e.pdf