Strengthening Mozambique’s educational institutes to increase food production and nutrition security
At the beginning of 2020 the Nuffic Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) project “Promoting resource smart green technologies in technical professional and higher education, to increase Mozambique’s food production and nutrition security” started.
Agriculture continues to be the main pilar of Mozambique’s economy and contributes to more than a quarter of its GDP and employs 80% of the labor force. The country has a vast potential to grow to become a major food producer in Southern Africa as only 16% of land that is suitable for farming is currently cultivated. Furthermore, its geographic location between landlocked countries and ocean ports increases its potential to play a role in regional food security and international markets. The 2-year project will therefore focus on strengthening the countries food production and nutrition security by promoting smart green technologies in higher education.
Training of teachers, technicians, researchers and students
Before the training would start the project team identified the needs of staff and teachers of the three project partners and beneficiaries Instituto Superior Politécnico de Manica (ISPM), Instituto Médio Técnico-Profissional Agrário de Chimoio (IMTPAC) and Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM). This knowledge exchange was done during kick-off meetings and the process of creating the business plan development of the resource centers. The focus of the training was going to be on didactics, pedagogical skills, proposal development, irrigation and Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Then Covid-19 hit, and planned training activities could unfortunately not take part. The plans made in 2020 had to be changed to an online set-up. However, it was noticed during the online sessions that internet connectivity and language issues were a hindrance to full-time online training for the project. Therefore, both European and Mozambican partners have agreed that for this second project year they will prioritize face-to-face training activities, through a combination of on-site training in Mozambique to be facilitated by local and international trainers, and the identification of training opportunities wherein project beneficiaries can attend elsewhere.
Increasing the quality of agricultural educational programs
To find out where the gaps are within the project beneficiaries’ educational programs, a labor market needs assessment (LMNA) and curriculum analyses was carried out. This was necessary as the gaps identified need to be included in the new curriculum. As part of the LMNA 90 stakeholders were interviewed with the help of a small team of eight staff members of ISPM, IMTPAC and IIAM. Through the outcome of those assessments a new curriculum for a Master program in Environmental Management and Sustainable Development was developed and it is now in the phase of approval by the board of ISPM.
Covid-19 delayed several project activities, nevertheless it also opened up the new opportunity of looking into and developing an online/blended learning program. An e-learning quick scan was carried out to find out the feasibility and need for online and blended programs as programs of this nature can attract new and more students in the future.
A center for innovation and resource-smart green technologies
A Centre for Innovation and Resource-Smart Green Technologies in Manica (Chimoio) attached to ISPM will be established. Here Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Higher Education (HE), research institutions, public and private sector will partner to facilitate innovations, knowledge and skill sharing. This will be based on demonstrations of the benefits of resource-smart green technologies for different customer segments, best practice exchange, resource sharing and joint programs. This with the aim on increasing access for young people and smallholder farmers to skills training and employment creation.
In the first project year, project partner Delphy made an inventory of resource smart green technology. Based on this information several sessions were organized with individual organizations to develop a strategic plan for the Recourse Centers of ISPM, IMTPAC and IIAM. During these sessions, business planning was discussed and investments priorities identified.
Gender mainstreaming is a process, which implies that it starts from the current state of gender affairs at all three institutions and from there identifies key concern and opportunities and prioritizes potential strategies. During the gender assessment, we identified that ISPM is a good role model for IMTPAC and IIAM, who are just starting with gender and inclusiveness undertakings. ISPMs experiences is very valuable and can be used to support IMTPAC and IIAM in their efforts towards gender and inclusiveness in the second project year.
Covid-19’s impact on the first project year
The project team worked tirelessly, despite the pandemic, to implement all planned project activities. The project has been somewhat delayed however, from the start of the project, management and teaching staff was actively included in the planning and development of activities to increase ownership. Despite some delays, the project has made progress and the annual plan for 2021 aims at catching up on the setbacks of last year.
Other activities that have taken place are
- Development of a MSc program with the support of project partners ISA and IPB. The program is currently in the process of approval and accreditation
- Didactical training of IAC staff with support of Citaverde and ISA.
- Field training on irrigation is on-going. Delphy is implementing the training in Mozambique
- Gender implementation is making progress
- Two PhD students are fully working on their PhD
- LMNA results will be presented to the stakeholders shortly
- Investment process is on-going.
About the project
This project is managed by Maastricht School of Management and Q-Point in the Netherlands in collaboration with Instituto Superior Politécnico de Manica (ISPM) in Mozambique, and promotes resource smart green technologies in technical professional and higher education, to increase Mozambique’s food production and nutrition security. Within this project MSM forms a consortium with Polytechnic Institute of Braganca (IPB), University of Lisbon – School of Agriculture (ISA), CITAVERDE bedrijfsopleidingen, Q-Point B.V., CESO Consultancy and Delphy B.V.. The Mozambican partners and beneficiries include Instituto Superior Politécnico de Manica (ISPM), Instituto de investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM) and Instituto Médio Técnico-Profissional Agrário de Chimoio (IMTPAC).
Orange Knowledge Programme
This project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) which is funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic. For more information click here.
Increasing Mozambique’s food production and nutrition security