The Role of Agricultural Institutions in Providing Support Towards Sustainable Rural Development in South Pacific Island Countries

  •  Royford Magiri    
  •  Sharon Gaundan    
  •  Shivani Singh    
  •  Sumilesh Pal    
  •  Archibold Bakare    
  •  Kennedy Choongo    
  •  Titus Zindove    
  •  Walter Okello    
  •  George Mutwiri    
  •  Paul A. Iji    


This paper examines the agricultural training in higher education institutions and tertiary colleges, their pre-eminent role and how best they can contribute to alleviate poverty in rural communities in Fiji and other South Pacific island countries. These institutions provide support through training farmers (vocational and adult education) and/or extension officers and providing researchers. Unfortunately, agricultural training institutions are not adapting to the rapid changing times early enough and have more or less maintained the traditional way of training. There is a need for agricultural institutions to amend their programs to facilitate the new emerging areas, together with new learning and teaching frameworks, establish new partnerships with the private sector in addition to expanding their representation in governance in addition to holding continuous dialogue with policymakers. Further, these institutions can potentially showcase local customs and knowledge, mirroring the regional culture, and ethical customs of the Pacific island community, as well as global movements and development forces. In reinforcing their title role as contributors to a culture of education and rural agricultural development, we suggest that agricultural institutions engage more directly and more effectively in partnerships and dialogue with other local agricultural stakeholders and their surrounding rural communities in Fiji and other Pacific island countries.

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