Rural households, particularly small scale farmers, in the world face complex challenges such as environmental crises, food insecurity, rural livelihood insecurity, hunger and poverty. The United Nations at its 66th session of the General Assembly has declared the year 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) to invite the collaboration of different international and national institutions as well as farmers’ organizations and non-governmental organizations to raise the profile of family farming and smallholder farming. The purpose is to focus world attention on the substantial role of this farming in managing the above challenges, through repositioning its status at the centre of agricultural, environmental and social policies. This requires a wide range of discussion and collaborations at the national, regional and global levels to cope with these challenges. Among different strategies to support family farmers, agricultural and extension education and rural advisory services have tried to facilitate and network innovations for and among these farmers as well as to build their social capacities in order to enhance their livelihoods, increase food security and conserve natural resources. The majority of farmers in the developing world produce in small scale family farms either individually, through partnership or collectively. They are much more vulnerable to the mentioned challenges above than any other types of farming and they need the much more support of agricultural extension and rural advisory services. The theme of this conference has been defined to be Facilitating Information and Innovations for Empowering Family Farmers”. This international conference can provide an opportunity for the participants to share their knowledge and experiences regarding rural development and extension approaches to support these farmers in order to manage their challenges.
The Iranian Agricultural Extension and Education Association (IAEEA) and the University of Zanjan with the collaboration of the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS), the Asian and Pacific Islands Rural Advisory Services (APIRAS), World Rural Forum (WRF), the University of Wageningen, the University of Tehran, Iranian Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture, Iranian Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare, and other international and national institutions are requesting the submission of proposals relating to the topics of the conference theme through their research, theoretical, philosophical, or application focused abstracts and papers.


  • Asia- Pacific Islands Rural Advisory Services Network

  • Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services

  • International Year of Family Farming 2014

  • World Rural Forum

  • Access Agriculture


  • University of Tabriz

  • Forests, Range & Watershed Management Organization

  • Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture

  • Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare

  • Government of Zanjan Province

  • Ganja Agribusiness Association (GABA)

  • Agriculture Bank of Iran