Developing future experts in Agriculture for Development - some thoughts on the challenges of capacity-development to address inter-disciplinary problems

Shawn J. McGuire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For the industrialised world, food and agriculture have come back into the news. Food price rises play a big role here, reminding the rich world that it cannot take food security for granted. For many less-wealthy parts of the globe, of course, the issue of food security has never really gone away. However, it is clear that food and agriculture are enjoying renewed interest from Northern and Southern policy-makers, and have risen up the agenda for development donors, research, and development practitioners. Every country will need to be able to draw upon skilled expertise in agriculture and development, in order to have any hope of meeting the challenges of future food security. Training future experts, and building national capacity in agriculture for development is obviously important, and is a key issue for this journal. But another issue for this journal is that it is by no means straightforward how you build capacity in agriculture for development. For example, what expertise is most relevant for developing agriculture in the 21st Century? Do current challenges require fundamentally new skills, or involve new disciplines? Are universities able to provide these skills and remain capable of equipping graduates to work in this field? How far is training oriented towards highly interdisciplinary problems (and working teams)? And can the most talented students be attracted to agriculture and international cooperation?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-7
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of International Cooperation for Agricultural Development
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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