Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2755

Review

Tailoring tertiary agricultural education for sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa: Opportunities and challenges

S. Chakeredza1*, A. B. Temu2, J. D. K. Saka3, D.C. Munthali4, K. Muir-Leresche5, F. K. Akinnifesi1, O. C. Ajayi1 and G. Sileshi1
1World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), P.O. Box 30798, Lilongwe 3, Malawi. 2World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), P.O. Box 30677-00100, Nairobi, Kenya. 3Chancellor College, University of Malawi, P.O. Box 280, Zomba, Malawi. 4Botswana College of Agriculture, Private Bag 0027, Gaborone, Botswana. 5136 Rocklands Rd, Rooiels, P.O. Box 343, Betty’s Bay, Cape Town, South Africa.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 04 July 2008
  •  Published: 31 August 2008

Abstract

                       Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic growth hinges on the development and promotion of a vibrant and sustainable agricultural production base. The prime movers for sustainable agricultural production include: availability of improved technologies, human capital, sustainable growth of biological and natural resource capital, improvement in performance of supporting institutions and favourable economic policy environment. Central to making these components operational is the production of suitable graduates, who are (i) technologically competent and relevant, ii) equipped with the necessary “soft skills” and business skills and (iii) able to work with local and especially rural communities. In this paper we review the current weaknesses in the tertiary agricultural education system and propose the necessary changes to be instituted. It is projected that the number of hungry people in Africa wil   l continue to increase further in the 2020s. To turn the continent around, tertiary agricultural education must be transformed. Issues of faculty retention, institutional management, curricula content and education delivery, urgently require review and re-designing. We demonstrate the “best practices” which if replicated on a wide scale can move the continent in the desired direction.

 

Key words: Sub-Saharan Africa, tertiary agricultural education, curricula content and delivery, institutional management.