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Abstract

The agricultural education system plays an important role in developing knowledge resources and preparing well-trained individuals and the next generation of labor force that becomes part of the public sector (government), the private sector (entrepreneurs, farm producers, agri-business entities) and the NGOs. An education system that is innovative and responsive to the complex and rapidly changing work environment is critical to ensure the effectiveness of all the institutions that contribute to agricultural development agenda. To make the education system responsive requires developing and implementing curriculum and teaching programs that are relevant to the production needs and employment demands of the agricultural sector. This paper reviews the literature on experiences gained in the development of innovative and demand-driven curriculum to make the postsecondary agricultural education system serve the needs of smallholder farmers in developing countries. The paper reviews the desired characteristics of the formal post-secondary educational system to be effective in fulfilling its role in supplying well-trained and productive work force for the agricultural economy. The current general state of agricultural curriculum in developing countries is reviewed with respect to these desired characteristics. The paper also presents a review of experiences gained in implementing different approaches to develop, enhance and reform agricultural curriculum, identifies constraints, challenges and successful examples of such approaches, and derives recommendations for ways forward.

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