Harper Adams University, AGCO and Strathmore Business School (Kenya) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to commence a new training programme in Junior Management for Agricultural Value Chains in Africa entitled the AGCO Agribusiness Program (AAP)
Strathmore Business School will be the lead partner in the two-year AGCO Agribusiness Qualification, scheduled to begin in March 2018. Harper Adams University will play a key role in advising on the development and delivery of the course and in providing teaching for elements of the course, including agronomy and mechanisation.
The structure of foundation science degrees in agriculture and in agri-business already offered at Harper Adams have served as a base from which to develop the new programme, which will include work-based modules hosted within AGCO subsidiary companies in Kenya.
Dr Andy Wilcox, head of Crop and Environment Sciences Department at Harper Adams University, said: “This programme, which we believe to be unique on the continent, will allow Kenyan students who are already in the workforce to extend their skills in agronomy and agri-business. The course will be delivered by Strathmore Business School with our support.”
“Through this partnership, we are confident that we have the capacity to meet the needs of the agricultural sector. The programme will integrate both theoretical and industrial relevance to address the current trends in the sector,” said Dr George Njenga, Dean of Strathmore Business School.
“The biggest challenge we are facing in growing our business in Africa, is the inadequate talent in the sector. For instance, we operate in 45 countries in Africa, but unfortunately, 80 per cent of our employees are of European descent. This has been furthered by the poor representation of the industry, which is often, embodied through the image of an elderly small-scale farmer.
“This narrative must change if our youth are to embrace the various facets of the sector,” remarked Mr. Nuradin Osman, vice president and general manager of AGCO Africa.
The two-year agribusiness programme, which is also supported by The Bridge Africa, will be delivered in SBS in Nairobi, Zambia and South Africa and will initially target students aged 20-30 years who, upon successful completion, will be considered for potential job opportunities within AGCO and the agricultural supply chain in Africa.