The Agricultural Campus International Centre responds to needs identified by the governments and civil society of our partner countries. The Ethiopian government, for example, prioritizes the need for education and training in agriculture as a means to agricultural development led industrialization. Our Agricultural Sustainability project in Ethiopia addressed this priority by enhancing the capacity of the Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine (JUCAVM) staff to train their students in community-based education. These students will, in turn, become teachers of agriculture or agricultural extension workers.
We assist in providing the skills and knowledge required by people in developing countries so that they can adapt and apply them as needed to their circumstances. Training programs in entrepreneurship developed through the Developing Rural Entrepreneurs project in Ghana, addressnot only the technical knowledge such as business planning, but also the attitudes and characteristics of an entrepreneur which can be applied to many aspects of people’s lives.
Strong partnerships are one of the keys to successful cooperation. A solid partnership leads to a strong commitment on all sides to achieve the objectives of any development project. Our Ghana project comprised a unique partnership of post-secondary educational institutions, local NGOs and a private consulting company.
Our partner countries already have substantive capacity and valuable local knowledge. Our goal is to develop that capacity further by enhancing existing skills and knowledge through formal education, training, institutional strengthening, curriculum development, adaptive research, and the transfer of knowledge and know-how. Our Sustainable Food Security project in The Gambia assisted with building the capacities within the Gambia College’s School of Agriculture in curriculum development. The end result is that a new curriculum developed by the faculty at the School, was piloted in October 2005.
An essential component of all development projects, gender equality is a crosscutting theme that has long been neglected in agriculture. While women perform the majority of agricultural activities in developing countries, they have less access to and control over resources such as credit, inputs, extension services and land. They are responsible for both productive and reproductive work within the household. Women are also under-represented in decision-making positions within government and the private sector. Our development project in Cambodia – Agri-Education for Extension focused on redressing this imbalance by ensuring extension workers are aware of the needs of women in agriculture and by providing leadership training for female students at the Royal University of Agriculture.
We are accountable to the Canadian government that funds most of our development work. We are accountable to Canadian taxpayers whose taxes are used for development initiatives. We are accountable to ourselves as an institution. But above all, we are accountable to the women, men and children of our partner countries who are trying to emerge from poverty and improve their livelihoods.