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18 June 2019 - 21 June 2019

CREA - Centro di ricerca Olivicoltura, Frutticoltura e Agrumicoltura - Acireale, Italy

Over the last years, the global economic crunch and the challenges about climate, food and natural resources, led innovation to the centre of the agricultural policy agenda. Innovation is considered the keystone to improve farms' competitiveness in an increasingly complex context while ensuring the sustainable use of resources, food security and balanced development of territories.

New challenges pertaining to agricultural systems, including, the more recent sustainable development goals, requires a different approach to innovation, that gives far greater recognition and power to grassroots actors and processes, shifting from 'transfer' to 'intermediation' and 'co-innovation'.

In this respect, new tools have been introduced to stimulate innovation through multi-actor processes and pave the way for bottom-up innovations, the capitalization of different types of knowledge, the development of interactive knowledge exchanges focused on territorial features and specificities.

The emerging paradigm asks for a change of the traditional role of Extension and Education that have to work more closely with all the actors of the innovation systems, in the development, dissemination, and uptake of innovations. In particular, Extension needs to be reoriented to new technical competences as well as to a knowledge exchange attitude, thus to become able to support farmers' ability to change and close the gap between science and practice. 

Besides, greater involvement in the definition of policies and programmes is needed to create an enabling environment to favour co-innovation.

The future role of Extension in the development of sustainable agriculture must also take in account the diversity and organisational pluralism of services providers and the specific challenge of digitalisation.


12 September 2019 - 13 September 2019

SKYCITY Darwin, Northern Territory

The APEN Conference, held biennially, is an international meeting for rural and community advisory practitioners, researchers, and academics who combine the best extension research and practice from developing and developed countries. Don't miss this unique opportunity to share knowledge, learn new skills and improve extension.

In September 2019, Darwin will play host to our conference for the very first time. Opening a pathway for South-East Asia practitioners, researchers, and academics to network and liaise with Australian and New Zealand extension professionals. An unmissable opportunity in an unforgettable destination.

The two-day event will focus on Extending Horizons: Extension's role in climate, rural industry, and community challenges.