Government says it is committed to providing highly trained human resource in all agriculture training colleges across the country.
And UNZA Vice Chacellor Professor Luke Mumba has advised Zambia College of Agriculture in Monze District in Southern province to works towards ensuring that its graduands are not only recognised in Zambia but internationally.
Officiating at the Monze Zambia College of Agriculture 7th Diploma and 67th Certificate Graduation Ceremony Yesterday, Minister of Agriculture Micheal Katambo said government was cognizant of the many challenges faced by training institutions such as dilapidated infrastructure and low staff shortage, among others.
He said government was in the process of finalizing an agreement with a cooperating partners that would see construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure at all agriculture training institutions.
Mr. Katambo reaffirmed that government would for this cause continue to fund all agricultural skills training institutions across the country to empower Zambians with agriculture and entrepreneurship skills.
” Government is cognizant of many challenges faced by training institutions such as dilapidated infrastructure and low staffing levels and it is committed to improve infrastructure at all agriculture training institutions and provide a cadre of training staff.
” You also wish to know that government is in the process of finalizing an agreement with some cooperating partners for the construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure at all agriculture training colleges,” he added.
131 students graduated with a diploma in agriculture and 128 with certificates in general agriculture during the graduation ceremony held under the theme, ” Providing Quality Agriculture Training, Research and Consultancy for Sustainable Economic Empowerment”.
The minister noted that the theme was an appropriate for the need for agricultural innovation system training to ensure that the training meets the demand for agriculture sector and agro business.
Mr. Katambo also advised graduands to put to good use the agricultural and entrepreneurship skills they received at the school to create job opportunities and become employers.
The Minister further called on the University Of Zambia (UNZA) to continue playing its critical role of ensuring that all agriculture training colleges adhere to high quality standards.
And UNZA Vice Chancellor Professor Luke Mumba has advised Zambia College of Agriculture in Monze District in Southern province to works towards ensuring that its graduands are not only recognised in Zambia but internationally by accrediting some of its programmes with relevant appropriate authorities in the higher education subsector.
Prof Mumba noted that it was high time for the college to begin training for the southern Africa sub region by identifying special and unique programmes such as dry land agriculture, high value production and not only training in maize production.
“ This would help the institution to attract a wide range students beyond Zambia and would help to raise the school’s profile among other benefits, “ he said.
Prof. Mumba further reiterated that the UNZA School of agriculture sciences would continue to offer all the necessary support to the college through the underwriting of Diploma and Certificates and other quality assurances.
“I would like to encourage the college to work towards its graduands being recognised not only in Zambia but beyond by accrediting its training programmes with relevant appropriate authorities in the higher education sub sector,” said Prof. Mumba.
” It is high time the college thought of training for the Southern Africa sub region and this would entail identifying special and unique training programmes such as dry land agriculture, high value crop production and not only maize production .
“ I believe such programmes would help to attract a wide range of potential students beyond Zambia and this would help to raise the school’s profile and raise funds for running the institutions,” he added.
Monze College of Agriculture Principal Edward Mumbi said college has made a resolve to continue to be relevant to the ever changing needs of clients through changing the curriculum.
Mr, Mumbi also said the college has responded positively to government’s clarion call to have a diversified approach to agriculture production.
He also revealed that the instate was still facing critical shortage of boarding space for female students in addition to shortage of staff.
The Monze Zambia College of Agriculture was established in 1948 to train students in both agricultural and entrepreneurship skills.