- Strengthening the national capacity building systems in agriculture in the developing countries is a key milestone to address the challenges of food security, sustainable use of natural resources and poverty reduction in the rural areas of the world.
- The recently increased attention to higher education and strengthening the capacities after many years of neglect is welcome, but many institutions in the South are for this purpose still weak.
- Funding, partnerships, leveraging, and long-term two-way commitment are required to strengthen the capacity of local institutions.
- Universities and training centers, on their part, need to demonstrate their commitment to both upstream and downstream development needs.
- Research, education and development must be well-connected to keep education relevant.
- Research however needs to be end-user oriented and universities need to strengthen their engagement in the innovation process.
- Multi-stakeholder platforms are important and necessary as both capacity building and innovation fora. The facilitation of such processes, recognized as a public good, should be funded by governments and donors.
AGRINATURA’S actions in the field of education are two-fold:
- Develop an integrated offer of capacity building in Europe in agriculture for development and integrated management of natural resources;
- Support and strengthen the capacities to build capacities in the South, through various partnerships and projects.
AGRINATURA’S priority fields of action are the following:
- Definition of clear and coherent integrated policies for research, education, rural development;
- Reviewing and harmonizing university policies to enhance collaborative training and education;
- Institutional analyses to support demand-driven and tailor-made learning packages (fit-for-purpose) to optimize action;
- Reform of curricula to better integrate disciplines, more extensive use of experiential learning and closer relationships with the social and economic stakeholders through internships and systems research;
- Emphasizing non-technical capacities development like value of social and human skills, communication and negotiation skills and leadership competence;
- Learning from practice, by “getting the field to the ‘class-room’” and vice-versa, in processes combining learning from experiences, reflection and documentation.
- Combining different methods relevant to the context and needs (graduate and postgraduate trainings, seminars, coaching and e-learning, work-based learning, etc)
- Strengthening universities’ efforts to develop ICT infrastructure and e-learning facilities to manage joint degrees and enhance research and networking
- Developing multistakeholders platforms, in establishing value chains, identifying and analysing needs pertaining to : (i) complex problems affecting their members (ii) exchange of experiences and joint learning (iii) advocacy for institutional, policy changes and funding, (iv) resource mobilization (v) capacity strengthening.