The last 25 years the agricultural landscape has rapidly changed. Ghana adopted the AU/CAADP objective to increase agricultural productivity with 6% annually. However, innovations in productivity and quality are no longer seen as issues concerning farmers alone. The question now, more than in the past, is how to link producers to consumers, develop value chains and develop inclusive agribusiness. This requires rethinking the role of producers, the state, knowledge institutes and their staff (including Wageningen alumni) and the private sector.
Knowledge institutes must contribute critically as knowledge providers, brokers and intermediaries. However, current curricula are not always responsive to technological and socio-economic changes in the rural economy. Furthermore, many curricula do not reflect current labour market demands and delivery modes often fail to suit the local context.
The question of curricula being responsive to these challenges has a lot to do with disciplinarity. Does an irrigation expert focus on calculating water flows or does (s)he also deal with conflict resolution between farmers upstream and downstream, and with other stakeholders? This requires an inter-disciplinary focus. Furthermore how can curricula reflect and prepare graduates on dealing with increasingly complex agribusiness realities; global market demands; rapidly advancing technological frontiers; and a multitude of actors and institutions varying from traders and processors to agribanks and cooperatives?
These issues will be discussed using experiences of the Convergence of Sciences programme and several public private partnership initiatives in Ghana and the region.