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What is the future for management advice for family farms in West Africa ?

Faure G.. 2002. In : International Farming Systems Association, 17th Symposium, November 17 - 20, 2002, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, USA. Belle Glade : University of Florida (USA), 9 p.. Symposium of the International Farming Systems Association (IFSA). 17, 2002-11-17/2002-11-20, Buena Vista (Etats-Unis).

The orientations of farm holding in a context of a more open economy create a demand by farmers for advice that goes beyond technical aspects. The gradual withdrawal of states from extension services also encourages the rethinking of support facilities for producers. As a response, several experiments on advisory services for family farms are underway in West Africa. Beyond the variety of objectives and intervention procedures that are analysed in this paper, common features shared by many of them emerge and contribute to strengthening producers' capacity for reflection and action. These procedures involve specific intervention methods and tools aimed at formalising the management process and enhancing learning dynamics. In this respect, they are aimed at positioning farmers in the centre of the facility to formulate his needs, define his objectives, take decisions and appraise his results. Some experiments aimed at strengthening farmers' governance of the facilities at both local and global levels are giving promising results, with strong farmer dynamics and a significant improvement of farm performance. However, these procedures can only lead to change if agricultural policies are stimulating for family farms, in particular in terms of agricultural extension, the financing of advisory services and access to loans.

Mots-clés : vulgarisation; aide à la décision; exploitation agricole familiale; méthode; afrique occidentale; conseil de gestion

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