In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, which created the U.S. land grant institution system. Under this act, at least 30,000 acres of federal land was awarded to each state to support public institutions of post-secondary education. Revenue from the land was used to establish and support the institutions so that tuition would not be out of reach of the “industrial classes”. The Hatch Act, passed in 1887, established the Agricultural Experiment Stations (AES) within the land grant institutions and currently supports research in agricultural-related areas as well as rural community development and societal issues. The Smith Lever Act, passed in 1914, mandated outreach to the public through Cooperative Extension, another component of the land grant institutions. Through these funding mechanisms, the 106 land grant institutions that now exist in the U.S. provide education, research and outreach to citizens in every state and U.S. territory. Utah’s land grant institution is Utah State University, located in Logan, Utah. This institution upholds the land grant mission by providing education, basic and applied research, and a variety of outreach programs across the state.
Ms. Malala Yousafzai a teen-age girl shot calamitously on her way home from school in 2012 by the Taliban in Pakistan stated the following message for all the young people in the world at the United Nation. “We will continue our journey to our destination of peace and education” then “Our words can change the whole world” attracting the largest audience, and eventually concluded as “Our books and our pens, they are our most powerful weapons” (Tokyo Shinbun, 2013). On the basis of the same principle, we, the faculty members of agricultural science related institutes, set up the Sustainable Rural Development program in 2006 as a master’s course aiming to develop leaders for rural area development. With previous reflection on international collaborations in developing countries, participatory approaches were adopted instead of technology transfer methodology. Moreover, we planned a novel approach that can practically and holistically communicate these ideas on rural area development, or a post participatory approach. For the objectives above, the program provided practical and theological training at the graduate level as related to stable food production and supply, and alleviation of poverty in each participant’s home country under collaborations between the University of Tsukuba and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as a special 14-month course. There were numerous constraints such as language barriers to create subjects comprising four categories: basic, preparatory, advanced and specific courses in English. Under our efforts, these constraints were resolved and all subjects are still taught in the G30 program even though the Sustainable Rural Development (SRD) course ended in 2012. From the view-point of internationalization, the commencement of this program brought about changes for faculty members. Our experiences and challenges during the seven years of this program will be introduced as an example of implementation of a program for actions based on the role of universities in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
In this paper, I describe the need for education to promote and implement sustainable agriculture in Indonesia, and relate that need to existing educational programs. The current education curricula introduce agricultural sustainability topics as early as junior and senior high school, but the approach is fragmented and topics are not delivered consistently. Although more focused education exists at the university level, it is not well integrated with the various degree programs, and different programs may teach this subject with different content and emphasis. I propose several ways that agricultural education in Indonesia could be improved by consistently incorporating a rigorous, well-defined, standardized course of study in sustainability.
Kasetsart University (KU) was the first higher education institute to offer agricultural education in Thailand. With a strong emphasis on basic and applied agricultural research aimed at feeding the Thai people and promoting their economy, KU has been the destination of choice for students across Thailand wishing to take advantage of the university’s innovative research and educational opportunities. With the increasing acceptance of sustainable agriculture as mainstream in Thailand, KU has pledged innovation and promotion of education and research in a diverse range of areas of sustainable agriculture and development. KU’s Faculty of Agriculture offers a master’s degree program in sustainable agriculture. With growing public recognition of the program and with financial support (especially in the form of scholarships) from KU’s International Study Center, the Sustainable Agriculture Master’s Degree Program has been recruiting more students, including those from overseas. From 2007-2011, the Faculty of Agriculture provided a 2-week-long training program, the KU-UT Internship Program in Sustainable Rural Development, to over 30 master’s degree students from the University of Tsukuba (UT). Under the strong partnership between KU, UT, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, this internship program was one of KU’s most successful projects and a model for other KU training programs. The KU-UT Internship Program offered ample opportunities to UT students (mostly from African and South East Asian countries) to learn about, engage with, and experience agricultural systems in Thailand that have embraced the concept of sustainable development. KU also promotes university-wide programs that address social and environmental problems and then employ sustainable approaches to find solutions. With 16 agricultural research stations and four student training centers located throughout Thailand and ready to serve as experiential laboratories for students, KU can boast of readiness and leadership in education on sustainable agriculture and development.
The Philippines, with an estimated total population of 103,775,002 and an annual growth rate of 1.9%, remains to have an agriculture-based economy. Agricultural education in the country is institutionalized through the 110 State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) and the national university (University of the Philippines) that were created by the Acts of Congress. However, of the three million students enrolled in higher education only 2.8% are enrolled in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries degree programs. Some of the reasons for the decline in enrollment in agriculture are: a) negative perception of agriculture as a profession; b) insufficient government investment in SUCs; c) rapid urbanization of agricultural areas; and d) devolution of agricultural services to the local government units. There are three important recent developments that pose opportunities and challenges for sustainable agricultural education in the Philippines: a) the enactment of the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2012 or the K-12 Basic Education Program which extends by two years the country’s previous 10-year education curriculum; b) the integration of the Southeast Asian economies into the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015; and c) the rise in the influence of global rankings of universities which underlies the internationalization of higher education. For the University of the Philippines College of Agriculture, the implementation of the K-12 and the coming into force of the ASEAN 2015, provide opportunities for the improvement of the BS Agriculture curriculum and in the development and institutionalization of courses anchored in the sustainable agriculture framework with an ASEAN perspective. It could also lead to the improvement of the performance of the graduates, make the agriculture profession more attractive, and render the graduates more marketable for both local and ASEAN students. The need for a ‘common’ language among ASEAN higher education institutions is emphasized to facilitate student mobility, implement credit transfers and possible joint or double degree programs, and mixed mode degree programs and online courses.
Nearly 80% of Afghanistan’s population lives in rural areas and depends heavily on livelihoods in the agriculture sector, which, in turn, depends on agricultural production. Agricultural education is essential for fulfilling basic human and animal needs, such as food, fodder, fiber, and energy, while ensuring long-term stewardship of natural resources and the environment. Agricultural development in Afghanistan depends on agricultural education at the national and international levels. Such education is implemented by agricultural specialists and expert farmers. Scientific and researc-based education is applied through agricultural schools and institutions and their faculties, whereas traditional education is provided by expert farmers through their sustainable agricultural practices. Agricultural education can have an important effect on the sustainable development of the agriculture sector. The greatest challenges to agricultural education in Afghanistan are proper management, institutional policies and strategies, research activities, funding, and continuous war and security issues. Agricultural development also requires a focus on sustainable agriculture in the curriculum. Education and training are widely recognized as contributors to national economic growth. Although many organizations and institutions are providing agricultural education to specialists as well as farmers, the lack of updated materials is a substantial challenge in Afghanistan. The two main objectives of agricultural education in Afghanistan are: (1) to give updated information on agricultural progress from around the world to Afghan farmers, and (2) to provide essential training in agricultural technology, sustainable cultivation practices, post-harvest handling, irrigation, fertilizer management, biodiversity conservation, soil health, dealing with biotic and abiotic stresses, and climate change and its effect on agriculture production.
To enhance gardening in the future, we have developed an advanced gardening support system called the Smart Garden (SG). To support decisions about what to plant where, SG uses sensors to collect data in the real world that it then plots in a virtual world. Various models then forecast outcomes. Users carry out actions based on these forecasts and evaluate the results. SG uses augmented reality (AR) technology to allow users to view virtual objects superimposed on the real world. This use of computer graphics allows growers to understand the outcomes of their decisions intuitively, while SG records their actions. This paper explains the applications of AR technology in SG.
Farmers who plan on increasing investment in, or expanding, their farms help to keep the agricultural sector sustainable. The decisions and investment planning made by farmers are based on a range of socioeconomic factors and on the farmers’ attitudes and level of knowledge and training. The main objective of this study was to determine the factors affecting farmers’ investment decisions, especially factors related to agricultural policy and farming knowledge gained from formal training. A survey of 252 farming families was conducted during the harvest season in 2012 in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, southern Thailand. Results from an applied logit model showed that socioeconomic factors such as increased age and increased level of education of the household head had a significant negative influence on plans for future farm investment. Other factors had a significant positive influence, including a positive attitude toward farming as a stable career, a high level of support for a child to study agriculture, a positive attitude toward agricultural policy, receipt of help from a member of a younger generation, and receipt of formal training. Farmer training programs should be supported, because training can increase not only farmers’ knowledge but also farm investment.
Maize is a major crop in eastern Africa in terms of production, consumption, and income generation. Significant progress has been made in research and development of improved technologies for growing maize. One of the major objectives is to develop maize varieties containing important traits such as pest and disease resistance, early maturity, high yields, and good nutritional quality. Most new varieties are designed to be adapted to wider agro-ecological zones. Though the highland zones of the region are hig-potential areas for maize production, only a few of the improved varieties adapted to the region have been accepted by farmers. In addition, conventional maize is deficient in lysine and tryptophan. Adoption of quality protein maize (QPM) could alleviate the hunger and malnutrition faced by the farming community in the region. The main study objective was to evaluate the dissemination and adoption of conventional and nutritionally enhanced highland maize varieties in Trans-Nzoia County. A survey was conducted among both subsistence and commercially oriented farmers. The results indicated that socioeconomic characteristics were associated with hybrid adoption. Overall, more than 90% of farmers grow hybrids, but the slow pace of adoption of new varieties is a cause for concern. There was a strong correlation between hybrid adoption and seed-to-grain price ratio for both subsistence farmers and commercially oriented farmers. There is evidence of a commercial orientation in both subsistence and large-scale farmers and hence the necessity to obtain seed maize at an affordable price. The willingness to grow QPM is a response to address protein inadequacy in the diet. The findings of this study should be very useful to policy makers when designing public awareness programs and promoting maize technology among farmers.
Agriculture continues to be Sub-Saharan Africa’s dominant economic activity, accounting for 40% of gross domestic product (GDP), 15% of exports, and 60%-80% of employment. In Kenya, agriculture directly contributes 26% to the annual GDP and indirectly contributes another 25%. The sector accounts for 65% of Kenya’s total exports and more than 70% employment in rural areas. Therefore, the agricultural sector is not only the driver of Kenya’s economy, but also the means of livelihood for the majority of Kenyans. The goals for sustainable rural development in Kenya must aim at achieving food security, raised incomes, a clean environment, and lead to poverty reduction. One way to achieve sustainable development is through structural or organizational policies or actions aimed at transforming institutions towards becoming more responsive and sensitive to local needs and aspirations. The purpose of this study was to examine how Agriculture training centers ATCs have assisted in promoting sustainable rural development by disseminating information and knowledge, assisting farmers and other stakeholders in accessing farm inputs promoting public-private partnerships, and promoting climate change mitigation activities. A survey was carried out in Nyeri County by use of two structured questioners, one targeting farmers and one targeting extension agents. Results indicated that (ATCs) play a key role in disseminating knowledge, technologies, and agricultural information, as well as in linking farmers with other stakeholders in the Agricultural sector. However the ATCS should invest more in ICT infrastructure to be able to reach more farmers and stakeholders more effectively.
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