Rural Advisory Services (RAS) are fundamental in supporting more than a billion small-scale farmers and other rural actors throughout the world (Nagarajan et al., 2020). These services assist them to deal with challenges and improve their livelihoods while increasing productivity and reducing hunger and poverty through innovation and strengthened capacities. Over the past ten years, digitalization in extension has received renewed worldwide interest, particularly with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This has not only dramatically increased the availability and affordability of many online services, but it has escalated the urgency for the development and application of digital extension.
Digitalization is considered the avenue to reach the 500 million smallholders that deserve better livelihoods and improved resilience against the adverse consequences of climate change and other environmental threats. As a contribution to the global discussion around this theme, the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) seeks to determine what kind of agricultural extension will be needed in the future to overcome today’s challenges.