Discussion paper presented at the RUFORUM Strategic Business Plan Meeting held in Stellenbosch, Republic of South Africa, 13-17 April, 2015.
Building Capacity in the Agricultural Industries of Africa
The successful transformation of agriculture has been at the core of impressive change in China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina. Fundamental to this achievement has been building capacity in all aspects of agricultural change to create dynamic research and technology transfer institutions that are focused on finding solutions that suit their local context. African policy makers recognise the importance of a productive agricultural sector key driver of national growth, and through The Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) have set a target of at least a 6% growth in the agricultural sector to reduce poverty and food insecurity on the continent. This ambition will require world-class services in key sectors like outreach, credit delivery and technology development, supported by appropriate investment in human capital. RUFORUM recognizes that the high cost university model which has served Europe and the Americas is not a sensible option for the poor in Africa and so, with its partner universities, has developed a successful and attractive model for transforming higher agricultural education in Africa. This model is cost effective, reliably reaches the poor and disadvantaged, and alumni are retained in the agricultural industries of their home countries.
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