Views on strategies for higher agricultural education in support of agricultural and rural development

Agriculture and Human Values 5 (4):40-49 (1988)

Agricultural and rural development programs can only succeed if they are based on effective participation and support of actors from the policymaking stage through all levels, including field personnel and primary producers. But these actors must possess the knowledge, attitude, and skills necessary to execute their tasks. For this reason, agricultural education and training has an integral part to play in any agricultural and rural development effort. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has made significant contributions to the development of agricultural education in its member countries. FAO's contributions have focused on institution building, group training, and fellowship/study tours. This paper reviews some of the lessons learned through FAO involvement in these areas and recommends directions for improvement. These recommendations include the following:Higher agricultural education institutions should become more involved in rural development by participating in appropriate activities leading to the formulation of national development policies.These institutions should develop education programs and curricula responding to the need of development by providing the knowledge and skills required to meet the needs of the people concerned and to solve their technical and socio-economic problems.More emphasis should be placed on improving the quality of teaching and on practical training.The same institutions should undertake to play a leading role in the agricultural and training systems at the national level.Research should be an integral part of higher educational institution programs and the research themes should include interests of small and poor agricultural producers and measurement of research impacts.Regional and inter-regional collaboration among higher agricultural education institutions should be encouraged
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DOI 10.1007/BF02217647
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