PTCI - Rural Institutions
Professor Ajaga Nji, AMF President and Professor of Rural Sociology, Technology and Social Change in the Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Dschang, Cameroon, was in Ghana to teach a course on Rural Institutions on an International Programme
From June 30 to July 17, 2014, Professor Nji drilled an excited and highly motivated class of 23 international students from 14 African countries on the dynamics of social influence, indigenous knowledge systems, technological change, technology transfer, rural cooperatives, social capital, national and international development agencies and how these factors impact on the work and life of African small holder farmers. The course is being taught for the second year within the “Programme de Troisieme cycle en science economic”, a Master’s course in Economic Policy funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In offering the course, Professor Nji told the students that the onus of moving African agriculture from subsistence to commercial (agribusiness and agro-industry) level largely depends on the continent’s capacity to identify, train, educate, and mobilize a new generation of scientists, engineers and technologists with high communication skills and a good knowledge of and commitment to the pull and push factors in African agriculture.
Institutional development with emphasis on a deep understanding of rural life and institutions in Africa, and the capacity to understand, appreciate and work with the African small farmer under his conditions and circumstances is a crucial element in this emerging and challenging journey.