Development and improvement of demand-driven horticulture training to contribute effectively to commercialization, including value addition, quality improvement and extension services (Agriculture).
This project aims to deliver graduates, farmers, farm workers and researchers who can contribute to the commercialisation of horticulture in Kenya and apply the latest technological developments to enhance food security.
To achieve the desired growth and address food security concerns, practical, entrepreneurial, gender and life skills have to be integrated in the educational and research programmes.
Private sector involvement
The private sector is represented in the consortium, because one of the founders of HPTC is the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK). The consortium partners will improve their education programmes from certificate up to post-graduate level so that graduates can meet the requirements of the changing needs of the labour market.
The project will also address the core functions of HPTC, JKUAT and KARI. This involves strengthening institutional and organisational capacity, and reviewing and developing educational programmes to improve practical and technical skills.
Agriculture, a booming sector
The agricultural sector in Kenya contributes significantly to the national economy and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 7%. Horticulture is the largest agricultural subsector, supporting the livelihood of more than 10% of the population.
About 90% of all production is still produced by smallholder farmers, mostly women. They do not make full use of innovative techniques and lack the capacity to meet international market standards and labour market needs.