Human capacity building in horticulture in Africa

Netherlands Food Partnership has compiled examples of training and schooling centres and initiatives of the past years, based on a rapid web search in May 2020.

Human capacity building in horticulture in Africa

Credit: USAID

Songhai Centre, Benin

The Songhai Centre is a nongovernmental organisation (NGO) working in partnership with a/o IITA, FAO, NEPAD and several other institutions.

Key activities
The centre provides trainings on: crop production, animal husbandry, fish farming, animal nutrition, agribusiness, handicraft, renewable energy, NTIC, Restaurant/Accommodation, general mechanic.

Furthermore, the centre initiated the Songhai Leadership Academy. This initiative aims to develop human resources and to create a critical mass of executives with the required profile. The Songhai Leadership Academy is a framework to train leaders capable of managing the Songhai movement and to support the development of Songhai throughout the world.

Target groups
Young agricultural entrepreneurs (men and women).
“Our training is open to anyone who wishes to receive or to deepen his/her knowledge in the field of agricultural entrepreneurship. The duration and the cost vary depending on the selected option (internship or full training). Special preference is given to Benin nationals in full-time training: they are exempted from training fees and are offered accommodations and food.”

Interesting reference
An article is available at the portal of the Francophonie initiative for sustainable Cities (IFVD).
Short movies about the project can be found on the website of the Songhai Centre.

Sevia, Tanzania

Sevia is a partnerships between Wageningen University and Research, EastWest Seed, RijkZwaan.

Key activities
Showing farmers the benefits of improved seeds, combined with basic knowledge, skills and technologies is the core of SEVIA, with its motto ‘Seeing is Believing’. Knowledge is transferred by experiencing and creating farmer to farmer dynamics in farmer communities. A dedicated team of agronomists, station workers and office staff, spread over Tanzania since 2014, demonstrated the potential of vegetable farming.

Online activities
E-learning: four online courses, in English and Kiswahili, on practical crop protection, transplant raising, fertilization and crop nutrients.
Crop guides: 12 compact crop guides, in which farmers can find everything they need to know to grow a healthy crop.

Target groups
The training is designed for vegetable farmers.
The e-learning courses for farmers and sector professionals.

Results achieved
SEVIA brought knowledge transfer to some 48,000 farmers across Tanzania.

Where are we now (beginning 2019)

  • Knowledge base for vegetable production
  • 900 demo sites, over 39,000 farmers reached in 20 districts
  • Farmers introduced to improved seeds and better crop management
  • Information on vegetables production (online)
  • Offering information on markets and assisting I creation of linkages
  • Research: evaluating 144 vegetable varieties, completed 75 projects on topics including fertilization, crop protection, irrigation, trellising, plant spacing and greenhouse production
  • Boosting rural economy by encouraging farmers to treat vegetable production as a business
  • Lasting impact

Latia Resource Centre, Kenya

Latia Resource Centre (LRC) is a Kenyan Social Enterprise.

Latia provides access to knowledge, appropriate technology and mentorship to farmers, pastoralists and agribusiness to yield healthy crops and livestock and sustainable agriculture practices.


  • Agriculture Apprenticeship Program
    LRC pioneered Agriculture Apprenticeship in Kenya in 2008. The program introduced a new way of agriculture training where apprentices split their days between classroom instruction (30%) and on-the- job time (70%) at a real farm. This training approach brings is very different from the way agriculture is currently taught in Africa. It targets to teach more than skills and its goal is to produce workers who can solve problems. Apprentices graduating from the program are skilled, thoughtful, self-reliant employees who can improvise when things go wrong or when they see an opportunity to make something work better.
  • NICHE project
    This is a 5 year capacity building project funded by the Dutch Organization for Internationalization in Education (NUFFIC). The project goal is strengthening LRC’s capacity to provide training and business support services in a sustainable way.
  • Agricultural Entrepreneurship Incubator Project (with MSM, Aeres, NABC and Strathmore Business School)
    This “Telephone Farmers Project” aims to develop a business incubation model to be used in unlocking the potential of small and medium sized commercial farms who in Africa have a huge potential to revolutionize agriculture.
  • HortIMPACT project (with LRC, Delphy and SNV)
    This project introduces modern greenhouse production or vegetables in Africa. The project trains farmers on improved production techniques and demonstrate smart farming technologies including Fertigation, greenhouse climate control, integrated pest management and efficient irrigation systems.
  • Outreach program
    The outreach program works with the pastoralist community in Kajiado County to develop local solutions to food insecurity, high unemployment and negative impacts of climate change. The program trained pastoralists and local farmers in improved livestock and crop production as well as supported introduction of alternative enterprises including poultry, bee keeping and piggery.

Latia Agribusiness Solutions, Kenya

Latia Agribusiness Solutions (LAS) is a business support services provider to agribusinesses in all sectors. LAS is a sister company of the Latia Resource Centre, handling all the agricultural consultation solutions and other services.

Latia Agripreneurship Institute (LAI) under LAS Limited, is a Kenyan registered college under Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Act as a Technical Vocational College. LAI uses an industry led, market driven and competency based approach to deliver a broad training program referred to as “Apprenticeship”.

The training model is delivered through 70% practical and 30% theory. Trainers are approved by TVETA thereby guaranteeing thoroughly skilled farm operators and managers.

Target group
The program targets anyone who can read and write and the core criterion for selection is the passion for agribusiness, the ability and readiness to either invest in own farm, or gain meaningful employment in the industry.


CABI is an international, inter-governmental, not-for-profit organization that provides information and applies scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. The approach involves putting information, skills and tools into people's hands.

Key activities
CABI use our on-the-ground expertise in development communications and agricultural extension to help smallholder farmers to apply tried and tested agricultural practices that improve their yields. A range of approaches are being used – from SMS messaging to village-based video screenings and ‘demonstration’ plots to communicate in the most effective way.

Target group
Smallholder farmers.

Key success factors

  • CABI specializes in curating and transforming content to make it more digestible and understandable to farmers, which, in turn, helps them make decisions about their farming practices.
  • Building engagement and ownership through agricultural extension services with programmes. This leads to long-term positive change.
  • Combine understanding of development communication and digital development to reach millions of farmers using mobile phones, radio and video.

Integrated Polytechnic Regional College, Rwanda

The Integrated Polytechnic Regional College in Huye, Rwanda is a legally established Government institution.

Key activities
The college aims to implement TVET programmes and facilitate the establishment of adequate, efficient and appropriate TVET offers in the Southern Province of Rwanda.

Different types of training

  • Advanced Diploma
  • TVET programs
  • Short courses
  • Workshops

Further information on the different centres and initiatives may be found using the weblinks mentioned or by contacting the institutions directly.

Horticulture Human Cap

Please visit the overview page for more information.