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Higher Education for Agricultural Transformation

Article Author Daniel Sherrard, Provost, EARTH University. Image: RUFORUM

It could very well be that the first half of the 21st century will be remembered as the period when Africa came into its own. These five decades could be a period of steady economic growth and one is which the rapid increase of the working age population actually pays the long promised demographic dividend.  Whether this dream is realized will of course depend on a multitude of political, social, economic and environmental variables.

Since two-thirds of Africa’s population depends on agriculture and economic growth derived from agriculture is far more effective in benefiting the poor as growth generated in non-agricultural sectors, there can be no argument that agriculture represents an essential element in the development equation.

While primary and secondary education are essential to the success of any social and economic transformation strategy, it is only relatively recently that the importance of higher education to agricultural development has been widely recognized (Juma, 2015).

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