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Market-oriented agriculture project to be piloted in Ghana, Kenya

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cassavaThe Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ATVET) pilot project, has been introduced to major stakeholders at a day’s workshop in Accra.

The project which is expected to have a total length of six to seven years would operate at the continental level and in two pilot countries of Ghana and Kenya, to develop and implement market oriented agriculture.

This would be the inclusion of agricultural technical vocational training components into the national education system.

Mrs Lena Otoo, Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture said with support from German Development Cooperation (GIZ) and Comprehensive Agricultural Development Programme, ATVET would transform agriculture in Ghana to contribute to the economy.

She said agriculture should have a strong human resource base by training interested persons to take up the challenge of agriculture production.

Mrs Otoo said ATVET would help create more coherent policies for agricultural education and training in Africa, particularly for young people who are the most valuable asset for Africa’s future.

“Planning in Ghana has always produced beautiful results but implementation has consistently been poor.  It is therefore important that we join efforts to ensure an effective implementation of the planned programmes of the project,” she said

Dr Paul Schuetz of GIZ, Leader of the consultants team of Market Oriented Agriculture Programme said the programme has three components namely to support value chain development and promotion in agriculture; committed to public sector support and policy advice and strengthen service delivery in the public and private agricultural sector.

He said ATVET should look at the needs of other agriculture actors and develop demand driven training programmes.

Dr Schuetz advised that the programme should endeavour to include the private sector actors in agriculture training to solicit their views to aid planning in a manner that captures their needs.

He said Ghana as one of the pilot countries “is not only to see how other countries are going about it but it is important to concentrate on finding viable solutions for the country.

He advised the actors to look beyond primary production and venture into other sectors in the value chain.

“Let’s try and concentrate on the overall competiveness of the agriculture sector and facilitate modernisation of all parts of agriculture,” he said.

Dr Rudolf Holtkamp, a Consultant observed that since the pilot phase of the project includes sensitisation, capacity building, curriculum development, test implementation and conduct of a tracer study to measure impact, private sector engagement would be very important.

“It would also be important for ATVET to create programmes to meet the needs of formal, non-formal and informal sector players.”

He said it is vital for the body to empower farmers to provide practical training to those who want it.

Mr Ernest Patrick Mallet, ATVET Ghana Project Manager, suggested the need for the coordination of allied programmes to the project so that the skills could be incorporated into formal education.

This, he said would help agricultural graduates to get sound practical training in their chosen field of study.

He said ATVET training programmes abound in many different institutions but without any common curricula or standards coordination of such activities would go a long way to promote the project.

Source: GNA

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