Mshenga, P. M., Mugonola, B., Carsten, N. P.,Olufemi, M. A, Manjur, K.,
The vast majority of the world’s poor derive their livelihood from agricultural activities. The trends in global agribusiness are however changing at a rapid pace and traditional agricultural practices seem obsolete. New landscapes are emerging where private entrepreneurs are linking smallholders to consumers while finding new markets for agricultural commodities. This changing face of agriculture requires smallholder farmers to shift their focus from subsistence farming to commercialization which can be enhanced by connecting agricultural education and research to the needs of the farmers and food industry. An integrated approach, collaborating the efforts of universities, research institutions and the industry should be adopted for this vision of agriculture to be achieved. Universities should be at the centre of this change but agricultural science graduates are often criticized for lack of creativity to deal with emerging challenges in the farmers’ situation. Thus, the need for reforms in university teaching to equip students with the necessary skills for problem solving. We propose to re-orient agricultural teaching in universities towards entrepreneurship in order to improve on the quality of agricultural science graduates so as to catalyze development and social transformation.
Figure 1. Tomato value addition by a smallholder farmer in Kenya
Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Denmark
Figure 2. Map of Africa showing countries of project focus
- The Overall objective of the action is to contribute to poverty reduction through Agri- entrepreneurship training.
- Improve the relevance of agricultural science teaching and outreach to the needs of agribusiness.
- Impart entrepreneurial skills to University agricultural science students in Eastern and West Africa to enable them to be competitive in the job market.
- Induce rural transformation through smallholder agricultural transformation and agri-enterprise development.
Figure 3. Vermicompost preparation by smallholder farmers in Kenya
Partnership and Collaboration
- European Union
- African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States
- Egerton University, Kenya
- Mekelle University, Ethiopia.
- Gulu University, Uganda.
- University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
- University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
- Sensitization of faculty /students/ and industry players on importance of agri- entrepreneurship.
- Review of existing agricultural sciences curricula to include agri-enterpreneurship
- Training of academic staff and other stakeholders
- Write shop for academic staff to compile and customize learning resources for agri-entrepreneurial training
- Development of agro-innovation clusters
- Establishment of University-industry linkages
- Establishment of entrepreneurship fund scheme
Figure 4. Carrot assembling, washing and packing ready for marketing in Kenya
Figure 5. Project Activities
- Strengthened competences of Faculty in terms of agro-entrepreneurship training
- Enhanced agro-entrepreneurial skills and competitiveness of agricultural science graduates in the labour market
- Enhanced collaboration between universities and private sector (Agri-enterprises)
This work is made possible by the support of the European Union through the African Caribbean Pacific Group of States under Contract No. FED/2013/320/100. The contents are the responsibility of the project investigators and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union or EDULINK 11. The project recognizes the contribution of Ochola, W. Balidawa, C. , Saidi, M., Gathungu, E. , Wambua, T., Langat, J., Thai, T. M., Gitika, P.,
World Development Indicators (wdi), 2006. http://devdata.worldbank. org/wdi2006/ contents/index2.htm. Accesed on 19th July, 2012.
Collette K. , C. Gale (2009) Training for rural Development: Agricultural and Rural Enterprise Skills for Women Smallholders. City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development, London