Course Details - Potato Sector Development for Emerging Markets

The potato crop is a major part of the world’s food supply. Currently the world’s fourth most important food crop, potatoes still have the potential to feed more people. However, apart from being a key staple, potatoes are also gaining traction as a crop that offers opportunities for food processors and agribusinesses. A prominent example of this multifaceted character is the Netherlands. Over the years, the country has become a world’s top producer and internationally renowned for its practical approaches and applications in the (seed) potato industry. Cooperation between public and private sectors has resulted in innovative developments in breeding and variety development, seed production, storage, seed certification and marketing. The insights gained, coupled with worldwide partnerships, provide new opportunities for the sustainable development of (seed) potato value chains in developing countries or countries with an economy in transition. Furthermore, thanks to its strong market position, the seed potato sector in the Netherlands contributes importantly to the Dutch economy.

Driving sector growth

Many lessons have been drawn from the development of the potato sector in the Netherlands as well as those from other countries that have made use of the expertise and technological solutions generated in the NL. Adequate variety selection, use of clean and healthy seed, seed certification, modern production practices, storage, value addition activities, viable market channels and a conducive enabling environment are crucial factors for successful potato value chains. Also, a collaboration between the government and industry can create significant opportunities to boost productivity, employment, and skills.

Implementation in practice

This course covers the complete potato chain. It addresses the role of public and private organisations – and partnerships between them – in breeding, variety development, seed production, agribusiness and marketing. Furthermore, this course gives access to the latest insights of the world’s leading Dutch knowledge organisations and private companies around the potato sector.

Course activities will comprise lectures, discussions, group work, case studies, excursions and field trips. Each of the components of the course has been specially designed to give you sufficient insight into potato value chains. And more importantly, this course creates a unique opportunity to learn from your peers around the world and share experiences with other potato enthusiasts.

Courses are currently online

Our courses are currently online and follow this format:

  • Pre-course assignments for you to get to know WCDI and for us to get to know your work environment and your expectations about the course;
      • Interactive plenary sessions where we share content, review assignments and facilitate exchanging experiences. During those interactive sessions we work with a number of online tools like Google Jamboard, Mural and Mentimeter;
  • Group work either online or offline where you with other participants address a specific question or do an assignment. Results of these assignments are also shared and discussed during online sessions;
      • Individual assignments where you will read literature, watch videos, and do exercises on your own. These assignments are an essential part of the learning and most of them count for getting the certificate. They are meant to introduce or deepen knowledge and make the link between theory and your own situation. These assignments are reviewed either by peers or facilitators.

In some, but not all courses we go on virtual field visits – showing you ‘live’ situations in the field, or with companies or organisations that we collaborate with. We offer coaching trajectories where we support you one-on-one or in small groups to review your individual learning paths in the course and help with any basic questions you may have.

Online platforms: Zoom and TalentLMS

Internet connection is important for the completion of the course. Not sure about the connection in your area? Send an e-mail about your situation.

We use Zoom as a facilitating platform for all our online courses. Our courses take place in general over a 6-8 week period to make the workload and time you spend online manageable.

Our online learning system is TalentLMS. Everything you need — our course programme, chatrooms, assignments and background information are in this system. TalentLMS is easy to operate, can also be accessed by your phone and has an on-and offline functionality. We even organise a technical check-in before the course starts, to test your facilities and get familiar with the tools.

Course planning and certificates

The course workload is approximately 16-20 hours a week (2-2.5 workdays).

The exact programme of your course will be available 2-3 weeks before the start of the course. If you’ve successfully completed your course we send you a digital certificate.

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