Development of the programme at postgraduate level was strongly supported by the findings of a training needs assessment undertaken by RAIN in 2005. Firstly, it was established that agricultural professionals of all cadres in the ASARECA region with AICM skills are few or lacking. More specifically, agricultural researchers, educators and technologists in national agricultural research institutes, universities and extension services lack skills that can make them self-sufficient in meeting basic information needs to generate and disseminate technology. Secondly, agricultural research results are not known or effectively transmitted to the international research community. As a result, African concerns do not drive the international research agenda. African research is not published and does not feature in international research abstracts. Thirdly, later studies established that existing university programmes did not have adequate ICT/ICM content, explaining the low ICT/ICM competency among graduates. Fourthly, programmes focusing on AICM training at university level did not exist in the ECSA region. There is moreover a growing recognition that ICM is emerging as a ‘new’ profession in development.
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