Establishment of public agricultural schools and dual education programmes
Country-wide development of vocational and technical schools that teach all ‘green’ professions (arable and livestock farming, forestry, horticulture, fishing, baking, butchery, milling, etc.). They povide sound initial vocational training for new entrants with good knowledge and skills in arable, grassland, and livestock farming and farm machinery, as well as in business organisation, accounting and finance and a basic knowledge of market processes and sales. After leaving school (usually at secondary level), new entrants often embark on a two- to three-year apprenticeship on a farm or with a company in the value chain while simultaneously attending a vocational or technical school (the dual system). These schools can be run as boarding schools if the host farms or companies are too far away. The apprenticeship ends with a publicly recognised qualification (e.g. as a certified farmer). It can be continued over several years of further training, leading to a qualification such as master or engineer, which is generally associated with more in-depth specialisation.
Shorter-term training programmes that are also suitable for older farmers are common in developing countries and are very worthwhile. However, consistent and significant investment in broad initial vocational training is required to make the agricultural and agri-food sectors internationally competitive. Above all, this calls for more training of teachers who are familiar with the practices in these sectors but who are also able to incorporate the results of research and science into their curricula.
- Clear responsibilities in public authorities
- Definitions of good agricultural practice in respect of soil, water, climate and air, as well as biodiversity
- Farming families must be able to send their children to schools
- Good knowledge of good agricultural practices
- Investments in country-wide educational infrastructure in proximity to students
- Long-term funding needs to be safeguarded
- Open-access to all farms, regardless of size and location
- Quality standards in agricultural advisory services that are in line with the national agricultural policy and definitions of good agricultural practice
- Skilled / specialised personnel to man the respective institutions / provide the respective services
- Training opportunities for advisors that reflect the definitions of good agricultural practices and agricultural policy
Possible Negative Effects
- Demand for well-trained professionals is also growing outside of agriculture, which can lead to an upturn in emigration