Tanzanian delegation visits the Netherlands to learn from the Dutch agricultural (education) sector


From 1 until 7 March 2020 a Tanzanian delegation of the project “Strengthening skills and training capacity in the horticulture sector” traveled to the Netherlands for an exposure visit hosted by Q Point. A busy but engaging program was composed to give the delegation a good insight in how agriculture education and businesses operate in the Netherlands.

The one-week program started at InHolland University of Applied Sciences where the delegation of 3 Tanzanian horticulture sector related colleges learned among others about curriculum development, teaching and private sector collaborations. Next project partner Profyta, provided information about integrated crop solutions through the total care concept. Profyta is an organization that supports farmers through the whole process of cultivating crops to achieve optimum quality and high yields while also improving sustainability.

Besides informative sessions and workshops there were also corporate visits included in the program. The first visit was at Delphy in the Westland region. Delphy is an expert in the plant sector with broad knowledge in food and flowers. Delphy experts shared their knowledge and gave the group handles to take back home. Furthermore, there were visits to Rijk Zwaan, Duivestijn tomato growers and a presentation from Lentiz.

Management and agricultural education
On March 4th, the delegation visited Maastricht School of Management (MSM) where they were welcomed and immersed in the Triple Helix concept. The day started with a presentation on a recent labor market assessment for the horticultural sector in Tanzania, based upon data from over 50 companies. The findings were presented against the background of “private sector development”. Furthermore, the connection to innovative new types of learning such as “blended online learning” was highlighted. The interactive sessions delivered the delegates many new insights how their colleges can better meet the labor market needs of private and government related stakeholders. Furthermore, they discovered what specific didactical approaches and content can substantially improve the curriculum, aimed at educating better “commercial farmers”.

In the afternoon a presentation on the monitoring and evaluation systems of MSM according to the rules and regulations of NUFFIC and IATI (international aid transparency initiative) was given. The presentation was useful for the delegation as it is important to keep monitoring the progress of the project. As part of the project, evaluation reports are written annually in which all date collected through the monitoring and evaluation system is discussed. The presentation included; logical frameworks, online systems and future impact assessment studies. Thereafter, Dr. Jeroen van Wijk, Associate Professor Global Value Chain and Partnerships provided a knowledge workshop about trust and trustworthiness in collaborative arrangements. One key take away was that in multi-stakeholder projects one should focus on utilizing drivers of trust (i.e. mutual dependence, technology and personal relationship), as well as minimizing any conflict of loyalties. This was illustrated by the case study of the Agricultural Business initiative (aBi) in Uganda, for which its former CEO, Andre Dellevoet, was interviewed during the workshop. One key take away was that in multi-stakeholder projects one should focus on utilizing drivers of trust (i.e. mutual dependence, technology and personal relationship), as well as minimizing any conflict of loyalties.

The following day, Mr. Marcel Creemers, Director at Citaverde BO, welcomed the Tanzanian delegation in Horst aan de Maas at the department for adult education and training centre for students from abroad. Citaverde College is a institute that focuses on agricultural education on vocational level, but also offers educational programs in agriculture and food production for employees, entrepreneurs and for participants from abroad. 

The day started with a presentation held by Marcel Creemers about the College and the role of the college in the educational system in the Netherlands. It was of high interest to the delegation to learn about how Citaverde is collaborating with the private sector and companies in the region. And also how Citaverde organizes internship programs and practical education. Furthermore, there was a lecture by Citaverde’s educational specialist, Janny Resoort about competence based learning in the Netherlands, and how to activate and motivate students in this “new way of learning”. After this lecture the delegation visited the Citaverde College which gave them the opportunity to get an insight in the daily routine of the college, get more acquainted with the Dutch education system and have a closer look at labor market oriented secondary education in agriculture and food production.

Furthermore, two farms were visited who both have a role in the educational system of the Citaverde College. This was the farm of Harold and Jacqueline Custers in Oirlo and the farm of Thwan van Gennip. The farms are used as internship companies, where student can increase their vocational practical skills coached by the farmer and the college, and on the other hand the farms are used as locations where practical education is given by teachers of Citaverde to students.

On both farms the delegation was extensively informed about the collaboration between the Citaverde College and the companies. The delegation had a lot of questions during the whole day about the educational vocational system in the Netherlands.

On the last day of the one-week visit the delegation visited Q Point, where the group was provided with information about value chain management, gender mainstreaming and quality and food safety standards.

It was a successful exposure visit for the Tanzanian delegation who went home fully equipped with new insights that they can start implementing within their own organizations.

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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