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    Scholars mark Africa Agribusiness Qualification success at graduation ceremony

    Posted 13 April 2023

    “The event was very special indeed and I hope that there will be an AAQ3 at some point - and that Harper Adams will, once more, be involved in this excellent programme.”

    The latest Africa Agribusiness Qualification (AAQ) cohort at their graduation

    A pioneering programme aimed at training African young people in agriculture, agri-business and agri-tech has marked the graduation of its latest scholars.

    Work on the programme began in 2017, when AGCO funded an initial scheme, combining agri-business, agricultural science, mechanisation and agri-tech, and leadership.  The resulting qualification, the Africa Agribusiness Qualification (AAQ), was developed and delivered in Kenya in association with partners Strathmore University, the Bridge Africa and Harper Adams University.

    The course proved very successful and the first cohort of students graduated in December 2019.

    A second AAQ cohort was drawn together – this time supported by the charitable arm of AGCO, the AGCO Foundation.

    For this cohort, the delivery location was moved from Kenya to South Africa, where Harper Adams University again worked to help deliver the course alongside partners the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) and Cerealis Precision, an importer and distributor of agricultural equipment in South Africa with a focus on precision farming.

    The main themes of the course broadly followed those of the first cohort, with an emphasis on agri-business and leadership, agricultural science and agri-tech.

    Students began the course in 2021, though a significant proportion of the delivery was online - as the coronavirus pandemic was still affecting travel and day-to day activities across the globe.

    Teaching input from Harper Adams University was provided by Lecturer in Sub-Saharan and Tropical Agriculture Ed Mashatise, Senior Lecturer Dr Sven Peets and Strategic Director of the School of Sustainable Food and Farming, Simon Thelwell. Delivery focused on agricultural sciences, farm mechanization and sales and customer service.

    Head of the Agriculture and Environment Department, Dr Andy Wilcox, managed relationships with the respective partners and oversaw quality assurance for the Harper Adams content.

    The cohort from the second AAQ2 qualification graduated at the end of March at a ceremony at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. Awards were presented by Dr Benard Ngwene, AGCO Africa Training Manager and Dr Gloria Mbokota from GIBS University and the ceremony was attended by Andy Wilcox and Ed Mashatise on behalf of Harper Adams.

    Ed said: “I am very proud of how the students have engaged with the course and how they have all developed during the AAQ2 programme.”

    And Andy added: “The technical and leadership skills developed by the AAQ2 cohort will be essential for the development of sustainable agriculture and food security in Africa,  I am  sure that each of the 15 graduates I met today will contribute to addressing these issues in their own way.

    “The event was very special indeed and I hope that there will be an AAQ3 at some point - and that Harper Adams will, once more, be involved in this excellent programme.”

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