Growing rice in the Sahel is not easy – but rice is what more and more people in West Africa want to eat. This is why governments and donors have invested in large irrigation schemes, hoping to reduce dependency on rice imports and boost the local economy. But growing rice needs more than just « hardware » such as water, land, seed and fertiliser. Knowledge (about technologies and markets) and relationships (with suppliers and buyers) are just as important. Farmers need help in developing both, and agricultural advisory services (AAS) are meant to provide that help. But is it working?