‘Transforming African Agricultural Universities to Meaningfully Contribute to Africa’s Growth and Development’ (TAGDev) is a partnership program between Mastercard Foundation and the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM). The program is implemented at Egerton University, Kenya and Gulu University, Uganda. This eight year program (2016-2024) seeks to transform African agricultural universities and their graduates to better respond to developmental challenges through enhanced application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation. The program is focused on transformation at individual, community, institutional, national and regional levels. Its special focus is on agriculture as a massifier of opportunities for youth and as a mechanism to achieve financial independence and moving millions of poor smallholder farmers out of poverty.

Background

TAGDev Program is implemented at Egerton University, Kenya and Gulu University, Uganda. This eight year program (2016-2024) seeks to transform African agricultural universities and their graduates to better respond to developmental challenges through enhanced application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation. The program is focused on transformation at individual, community, institutional, national and regional levels. Its special focus is on agriculture as a massifier of opportunities for youth and as a mechanism to achieve financial independence and moving millions of poor smallholder farmers out of poverty.

The program will support the training of 220 students (110 masters and 110 under graduates) at Egerton University and Gulu university. The program targets African students who are academically bright yet economically disadvantaged and/or marginalised from the mainstream of society. The scholarship opportunity is open to African students and who in particular are economically disadvantaged and those coming from conflict and post-conflict areas of Africa. Applicants should qualify for admission into undergraduate or postgraduate programmes at Gulu university and/or Egerton University. The Scholarship covers: Tuition fees, accommodation fee, laptop, transport cost, living expenses, Research cost, workshop and conference costs, community engagement and field attachment, entrepreneurship and leadership trainings among others. The focus is to build a strong cadre of AgLeaders who are proactive and change makers.

In the broader realm, the TAGDev program seeks to expand the advancement of knowledge and understanding of tertiary agriculture education, engage policy makers at national and pan-African levels to influence higher agricultural education policies and guide agriculture training processes at university and TVET levels.

The program also has a component of community engagement and experiential learning through Community Action Research Program (CARP+) projects that seeks to strengthen the university community linkages. This is through training of students jointly with private sector organizations, research institutions and farmers among other actors to nurture practical oriented graduates who have an appreciation of entrepreneurship for community transformation. In 2016/2017 Financial year, RUFORUM Awarded grants to two CARP+ projects at Egerton University namely; The Seed Potato Value Chain and Cassava Value Chain Project.

Objectives

  1. Pilot a new model of agricultural education at early adopter universities that connects tertiary agricultural education to rural communities, with an emphasis on smallholder farmers
  2. Strengthen agribusiness/entrepreneurship at two universities and selected TVET institutions
  3. Scale out the new model for agricultural education to other agricultural universities and TVET institutions
  4. Increase collaboration and mutual learning among institutions and agencies implementing and influencing innovative Tertiary Agricultural Education for rural transformation in Africa.