Agricultural Education in Developing Nations!
I believe that our developing countries need more innovative ideas tools in Ag Ed, and I am sure that anyone involved in AG production system is not completely satisfied about the current situation of Ag Ed in developing countries.
While I am searching about the reasons which prevent us to achieve fast growing in Agriculture Education, I have found 100s of reports related to this issue. Most of these reports addressed the financial aids and inadequate budgets as the first reason. I agree in some cases, but this is not the real problem in most of developing countries, for example, in Middle East and North African countries, the budgets allocated for education are too low to meet our requirements and to achieve the goals. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), developing countries spend an average of 1 per cent of their national income on all higher education (including Ag Ed); in same time they spend much more money in other services which come in lower priorities compered to education! Many other reason which I have found too, e.g. lack of agriculture universities and schools and teaching staff, failing vocational training and higher education systems, absence of high quality laboratories and workshops, insufficient information for Ag students, etc….. All above mentioned reasons exist in our developing countries and vary from country to another.
But the things I found and were very useful elements in Ag Ed development were Ag Ed Associations, These organizations have a very decent rule in Ag Ed e.g. American Association for Agricultural Education, The National Association of Agricultural Educators, The National Council for Agricultural Education, Sustainable Agriculture Education Association , Agricultural Education Division, Utah Association of Agricultural Education (UAAE) etc….
But, have we such professional organizations? Have we such associations which take care about the system of Ag Ed in our countries? I don’t think so.
So, I don’t know if you agree with me or not, but we need such organizations which can strives to stimulate positive growth in agricultural education, and to increase student opportunities to participate in the outreach and extension activities common in many colleges of agriculture as well as undergraduate research, internships, and similar programs. The performance of our governments towards Ag Ed is so slow and it will be like this many years, it’s time to establish or reconstruct our own originations and associations with help of scientists, professional, students and farmers to be able to overcome gaps we created between us and developed countries.
Many thanks to our Young Professionals in Agricultural Research for Development platform for keeping us updated and informed with all new events in agriculture, all the best always and better future for all members.