50+ years of Investments in Agricultural Education and Training. June 6, 2011 Day 1, Panel: The Capacity Building Playing Field: Overview James Hochschwender RAISE Plus IQC Manager Weidemann Associates, Inc. Backdrop.
June 6, 2011
Day 1, Panel: The Capacity Building Playing Field: Overview
RAISE Plus IQC Manager
Weidemann Associates, Inc.
Agricultural TrainingEducation and Training IS more complex
1. Direct links between food supplies, environmental stewardship and agricultural education and training (AET). 2. Role of graduates of the entire AET system - finding answers to: a. sustainable food production problems and implementing these, b. providing services and opportunities to rural people. 3. Graduates serve in public, private sector & civil society organizations - scientists, technicians, policy-makers, entrepreneurs, regulators, financiers, extension agents, teachers, managers, natural resource managers, and other roles. 4. Face intensified challenges - cereal crop yield stagnation, climate change, higher energy costs, global health concerns, globalized markets, and declining water resources, 5. Present AET demanding new technological and social challenges – “soft skills” for AIS. 6. Opportunities from global market integration, scientific advances in biotechnology and ICTs, and better educated rural populations.
The fundamental change agenda includes:
Example of Practical Activity - Increase Food Production: boost productivity of 40% of farmers with capacity to move from “average” to top producers – “narrowing the gap between the best and worst producers” (Economist 2011).
Enormous AET implications. World Development Report 2008: “ while the worlds of agriculture are vast, varied, and rapidly changing, with the right policies and supportive investments at local, national, and global levels, today’s agriculture offers new opportunities to hundreds of millions of rural poor to move out of poverty”.
Yes, but not without improved AET system.
- Frequently classroom based - professor, lecturer, teacher, facilitator, or trainer guides
1950s, 1960s, and 1970s – USAID substantial, one of largest dedicated investments in AET.
Starting mid-1950s on - Established universities similar US Land Grant universities in Latin America, Asia,
TA for administrative & academic activities & curriculum development, links to overseas advanced
degree programs, modernized libraries, paired new universities with counterpart LG universities.
LG institutions supplied much of TA, advanced degree training, & continuing support to counterpart universities overseas.
Modernized way agriculture was taught & learned;
Enhanced quality of education, research, and extension;
Provided current teaching materials; &
Created international network of ag education professionals.
The impact impressive - not always sustained:
Universities lost momentum
Failed to adapt to changing conditions & new opportunities
Linkages to in-country stakeholders failed to develop
Quality of teaching and learning deteriorated
Changes in leadership, reduced funding
Winding down collaboration with overseas universities impacted performance, quality relevance of education programs.
On the other hand:
Number of universities established thrived
Continue to provide education leadership long after the investment program closed.
1950s, 1960s, and 1970s - substantial investments in AET.
Multilateral organizations such as the World Bank, FAO, ILO, and UNESCO and bi-lateral agencies supported AET through:
Most of activities were short-term (exception - free-standing agricultural education projects)
By end of 1970’s
Starting in 1980’s
2005 Review - WB AET investments in Africa - same weak level since 1998 review
2001-2010 new WB commitments $23 billion/annual doubled – dual focus primary completion and post primary “education for the knowledge economy”
Generic weaknesses include:
Agricultural training at secondary level - not universally offered - often chosen as an “easy pass” by students. Suffers from a lack of qualified teachers & weakened by poor cooperation between ministries of education and agriculture.
Outcome of weaknesses & low investment in AET:
AET will have to change
Time for investment in AET is now.
USAID - Weidemann Associates Inc. Roundtable discussion on January 5, 2011
Purpose: Explore the state of AET & identify investment opportunities for USAID.
Institutions must look beyond the production of graduates as a measure of impact of AET investments. Graduates must be able to find employment and use relevant skills to improve sector performance.
Have clear objectives
1. Embrace new approaches
2. Promote strategic partnerships