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African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development
Rural Outreach Program
ISSN: 1684-5358
EISSN: 1684-5374
Vol. 16, No. 1, 2016, pp. 1-16
Bioline Code: nd16013
Full paper language: English
Document type: Comment
Document available free of charge

African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, Vol. 16, No. 1, 2016, pp. 1-16

 en PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP FOR RESPONSIVE EXTENSION EDUCATION: THE CASE OF SAFE AND UCC IN GHANA
Kwarteng, J. A. & Naibakelao, Deola

Abstract

Developing nations in Africa are not shielded from the pressures of a globalized competitive agricultural marketplace. With an appreciable bulk of her people deriving livelihoods from diverse agricultural enterprises, these nations must respond to important contemporary issues shaping global agriculture. Farmers from such nations, including Ghana, will be able to improve their participation in the competitive local, regional and global agricultural marketplace if the appropriate agricultural technologies and extension information support are available. To achieve this, a new breed of agricultural extension graduates who can respond to current and emerging challenges in agriculture and interface effectively with farmers must be produced through responsive extension education and training. While extension education can produce effective extensionists to hasten agricultural development, budgetary constraints make it difficult for most African governments to successfully and sustainably implement such educational programs. However, public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives offer a way out of this financial dilemma. Beginning in 1993, the Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE) worked with the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in Ghana to develop an innovative extension education program through a public private partnership. The program, comprising a BSc. and Diploma components, was designed to respond to the myriad of challenges facing higher agricultural extension education in Ghana. A key practical feature of the curricula is the “Supervised Enterprise Projects” (SEPS), which enable students to work with relevant stakeholders to identify and tackle agricultural problems in farming communities through experiential extension approaches and action research. The SAFE-UCC initiative fulfils important education goals such as: expanding and improving access; ensuring quality and relevance; ensuring funding and mobilizing resources for sustainability; building partnerships and linkages; and promoting international co-operation. The paper discusses the underlying conditions for a successful public private partnership in agricultural and extension education and sheds light on the impacts, lessons learned and challenges.

Keywords
public private partnership; agricultural extension education; agricultural development; impacts; Ghana

 
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