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African agricultural trainee programme launched in Kenya

Posted 7 March

"It has taken a lot of work so it was a pleasure to see the programme launched this week and to join the first cohort for their opening lectures as well as the official launch event.”

Dr Andy Wilcox at the launch with Gary Collar is Senior Vice President of AGCO Asia  Pacific and Africa

Dr Andy Wilcox at the launch with Gary Collar is Senior Vice President of AGCO Asia Pacific and Africa

The first junior management trainee programme for the agricultural sector in Africa, developed in conjunction with Harper Adams University was launched this week in Nairobi, Kenya.

Kenya’s Strathmore University Business School, in partnership with AGCO Corporation, a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of agricultural equipment, launched the AGCO Agribusiness Qualification Programme (AAQ) yesterday.

The AAQ is a follow-up to last year’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between AGCO, Harper Adams University and The Bridge Africa to have more youth trained in agribusiness and be better equipped to solve the food security challenges facing Africa.

Harper Adams University has played a key role is advising of the development of the course and will continue to support its delivery, providing teaching elements including agronomy and mechanisation.

The programme has admitted its first cohort of 20 young people from Kenya and Nigeria in its first intake. The aim, as set out by the partners, is to harness the potential of the youth in driving Africa’s agricultural transformation and become agenda setters in the development of a sustainable food production system that is able to increase farm output by utilising agricultural technology more efficiently and enhance food security.

Dr Andy Wilcox, Head of the Crop and Environment Sciences Department at Harper Adams University, attended the launch event and said: “I am very pleased and proud to have got to this stage with our great team. It has taken a lot of work so it was a pleasure to see the programme launched this week and to join the first cohort for their opening lectures as well as the official launch event.”

Dr Wilcox, who delivered a talk to the students on the first day of the programme, explained that the structure of foundation science degrees in agriculture and in agri-business already offered at Harper Adams had served as a base from which to develop the AAQ, which will include work-based modules hosted within AGCO subsidiary companies in Kenya.

The first phase of the AAQ is a two-year agribusiness programme to be delivered in SBS in Nairobi and South Africa and upon successful completion will be considered for potential job opportunities within AGCO and the agricultural supply chain in Africa. The second phase of the programme will involve having all training material online and rolling training across Africa, targeting more 10,000 young people.

The AAQ is believed to be a unique opportunity within the African continent, allowing students who are already in the workforce to extend their skills in agronomy and agri-business.

See  #AGCOAgribusinessQualification on Twitter

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