WG 3 Vocational Skills for Agriculture and Rural Development Chaired by Hon. Ms. Janat Mukwaya Minister of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry & Fisheries
Key Issues Raised by WG 3 Contextual • Rural sector as only host for country population doubling every 20 years • Agricultural training as an occupation of last resort • Pressure to achieve Universal Primary Education and MDGs, regardless of its practical meaning for rural communities • Skill development as additional burden for overloaded school curriculum Content • Education/training has often not addressed poverty reduction nor necessarily led to viable livelihoods • Skill development should empowers people, e.g.: know own rights, valorise indigenous knowledge, cope with disaster, be more active inside community
Key Issues Raised by WG 3 Outcomes • Education alienates young people from agriculture; school leavers desire white collar jobs; can end up back home with nothing • Education/training in rural areas as passport for migration to urban areas • Return from investment in education/ training can be unclear No blueprint for vocational skill development: need to know - • What is the context • Who needs to increase efficiency, for what • Who can do it best ?
Process for Prioritizing Vocational Skill Needs Defining “demand” • Analyze national policy objectives and development plans & priorities • Analyze domestic and external market opportunities for food, agric and other “rural” products/services/jobs • Assess agro-ecol/ socio-econ context, production systems and potentials, and/or concerns/needs of rural people. • Determine demand for specific vocational skill needs/ key target groups/ expected outcomes’
Process for Prioritizing Vocational Skill Needs Defining “supply” • Assess available/potential institutional & financial resources to satisfy skill ‘demand’ • Coordinate ministries, training institutions and other partners (business & NGOs) to build synergies in planning & implementing appropriate strategy for skill development • Custom design & delivery of skill development programs (formal and/or informal) for specific targeted groups/needs • Monitoring & evaluation of relevance/ effectiveness of skill development on food security, poverty reduction, income generation & sustainable development of rural communities. Getting organized to carry out the process: Who Steers? Who Executes? Who pays?
Relevant Approaches for Planning for Vocational Training in ARD Considerations • Meaning of “vocation” for rural people (often with multiple income sources) vs urban people • A rights approach can strengthen self-esteem of learners and increase accountability of education/ training institutions to rural community • Partnerships approaches ensure that skills development matches work & income opportunities Design approaches • Emphasis of skill development approach on learning outcomes not training inputs • Vocational skills for ARD may need different approaches from that employed for general education • Various conceptual approaches used for planning policies and programmes for vocational skills in rural areas • Livelihood approaches (i.e. people-centred, holistic analyses, household decision-making) as appropriate for defining skill needs.
Priority Target Groups for Skill Development Many different groups can benefit from vocational education, ,i.e. • Small producers (crops, livestock and fishing) for subsistence, food security and income generation, commercialisation • Rural poor and vulnerable groups • Large, rich farmers in rural areas who need high-level professional knowledge and business skills. • Girls and boys (emphasize traditional gender roles?) • Primary students as future farmers (also as conduit to transfer technology to parents, i.e. present farmers) • Post-primary students
Strategic Topics for Vocational Skill DevelopmentPeople-related topics • Human rights/issues (e.g. gender, self-esteem, value of local knowledge, citizen participation, etc) • Livelihoods, learning and problem-solving approaches • Community empowerment strategies • Farmer field schools • Human nutrition and diets • Agri-business management (finance, cost and benefit) • Agricultural marketing and trade in a globalizing world • Income and employment generation especially for youth
Strategic Topics for Vocational Skill DevelopmentProduction-related topics • High-value agriculture and food products • Vegetable gardening • Livestock management and production in arid & semi-arid regions of Africa • Best practices for modernization of agriculture/farming systems • Natural resource management • Post-harvest technologies
RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Need to assess available rural training based on the rural peoples’ potentials, their aspirations & their constraints 2. Need for integration/coordination of available rural education among different relevant ministries (Education, Agriculture, Rural Dev, etc.) 3. Need for elaboration of capacity-building strategies for rural environment