Capacity Development For Agricultural Transformation: Making Postgraduate Level Training Relevant To Africa’s Agricultural And Rural Sector Development
Ochola, Washington O
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While modest success has been realized in agricultural development in Africa, food insecurity and challenges brought about by global changes continue to impact greatly on human health, energy and environment. As Africa endeavours to achieve the first of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), that is, reducing the number of poor and hungry people by one-half by the year 2015, these challenges have affected the drive towards the MDGs. Success of African agriculture and rural development will certainly come from good governance, strong rural policy, new research institutions and dedication to relevant training. This demands knowledge-based agricultural capacity development and focused science-based policies and institutions. This paper present new approaches to postgraduate level training in agriculture and related sciences that are deemed to have lasting impressions on the drive to make African Universities relevant to current and future agricultural and rural development needs of the region. It highlights existing cases of regional postgraduate programmes and argues for quality and policy relevance of training programmes in the context of sustainability as universities lead the science –policy interface and action research for farmer technology generation and support. The paper poses a number of institutional and individual capacity development questions and outlines an outlook-based approach to address the issues.