An ongoing project run by the German Development Agency (GIZ) aims to integrate sustainable vocational training for the agricultural sector into the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) implementation process so as to establish the expertise required for developing successful agribusiness value chains. Pilot vocational training courses for “agripreneurs” are aimed at young people across Africa and designed to address market needs. The project has contributed to placing vocational training for the agricultural sector on the national agendas in Ghana, Kenya, Benin, Namibia, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone so promoting a high level of awareness of the importance of agricultural training among policymakers.
In 2013 there were 25 agricultural technical and vocational education and training (ATVET) colleges (5 federal and 20 regional) in Ethiopia. Regional ATVET colleges have the freedom to design their training according to the needs of the local labour market. They also provide training to small enterprises in rural areas. More than 1,840 Farmers Training Centres (FTCs) are now fully functional with the facilities to provide both classroom and field training. Around 72,000 Development Agents (DA) have been trained and employed by the government to provide extension services at a ratio of 1 DA to 200 farmers. Usually 3 DAs are allocated to each FTC alongside 1 plant scientist, 1 animal scientist and 1 expert in natural resource management. In addition, 1 animal health and 1 cooperative DA are shared between 3-5 FTCs. The agricultural sector in Ethiopia has grown in productivity by an average of 6% per annum since 2006, and this is believed to be largely thanks to the DAs, FTCs and ATVET colleges.