Project "Strengthening skills and training capacity in horticulture in Kenya" is well underway


In June 2019 the multiple-year project “Strengthening skills and training capacity in horticulture in Kenya” started. The project aims to increase the quality of education programs at Bukura Agricultural College, Latia Resource Center and Egerton University. To equip the TVET’s in these horticulture sector there’s a special emphasis on skill development, blended learning approaches, inclusivity, entrepreneurship, gender sensitivity and private sector involvement.

The project so far
The curriculum of the three Kenyan institutions has been reviewed by Kees Rietveld of Inholland, a Dutch educational partner in the project. Next to the reviewing of the curricula, recommendations have been made on the basis of labor market needs documents.  The findings and recommendations of this research have been explained and discussed during the visit in February 2020.

In the meantime, Boaz Liesdek from Q-point collected all relevant Labor Market Needs Assessment (LMNA) reports and summarized this in a Stocktaking LMNA report. The need of the Kenyan parties has been identified, however there is still a need for additional capacity building on this topic. Therefore, a workshop will be organized in Kenya in May to train participants to conduct a LMNA themselves. During this workshop the participants will learn more about interview techniques, survey development and analysis of data.

Furthermore, in February 2020, project coordinators of the Kenyan TVET institutions and Dutch project coordinators met to discuss the planning and investments in the project. During this visit, project director, Dr. Diederik de Boer and triple helix expert Dr. Julius Gatune of Maastricht School of Management (MSM) also joined as building a horticulture triple helix platform is an important part of the project.

Dr. Gatune has started building the horticulture triple helix platform by carrying out a scoping study. Next he will start with the mapping and assessment study of relevant market actors in the horticulture sector in Kenya. He then will start visiting the stakeholders focusing on Kakamega county and develop a first business plan.

Upcoming activities
Through the assessment of the Kenyan beneficiaries in 2019, it was concluded that they request capacity building and training in crop protection, integrated pest management, integrated farming, quality management and food safety. To meet their request, the project team is looking into matching the right experts to the trainings.

The next training will take place from 20 until 24 April and is about blended learning. It’s a topic that is of interest for the Kenyan parties and the workshop will be given by Sandra Adriaansens of MSM. The participants of the three Kenyan institutions and Ms. Adriaansens will conduct an assessment to find out what the institutions need. Through the assessment a blended learning strategy and implementation plan can be created.

The first training on post-harvest is planned from 11 until 15 May and will be conducted by Christina Popma of Inholland. The Kenyan parties are looking forward to welcome her. Christina has a solid background in post-harvest management and has experience in African countries with training farm management and pack house teams amongst others on post-harvest loss reduction and optimizing processes. This might also be an interesting topic for the Nuffic NICHE project KEN 281 with Kenya School of Agriculture. This would be a good opportunity to link the projects and organize a joint training. The training will also contribute and give input to the development of modules and courses in post-harvest management.

Furthermore, gender is also included in the project. A gender and female talent program is planned for to start in April and July and will be organized and executed by experts from Q-Point and MSM.

Lastly, for the first half year of 2020, an exposure visit is planned from 22 until 24 June for the Kenyan delegation to visit the Netherlands. The Dutch partner organizations of the project (Q-Point, InHolland, MSM) will organize visits to interesting private organizations and/or knowledge institutions.

Nuffic Orange Knowledge Programme
This project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme. Nuffic OKP contributes to a society’s sustainable and inclusive development by providing access to education and training for professionals and organisations in technical vocational education and training (TVET) and higher education. It is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of its development cooperation policy. The subsidy programme is managed by Nuffic, a Dutch non-profit organisation for internationalisation in education. It offers funding for long-term, demand-driven partnerships between Dutch knowledge institutions and organisations in 19 participating countries, as well as individual scholarships and Tailor-Made Trainings in all 53 selected countries. The € 195-m, five-year programme ends mid-2022, enabling tens of thousands to change their future. From the Dutch development cooperation policy, 4 priority themes have been selected on which to focus in the programme: Food and Nutrition Security; Water, Energy and Climate; Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; and Security and Rule of Law. Cross-cutting themes in this programme are inclusion, employability and environmental sustainability.

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