The term Agricultural Education and Training (AET) covers a broad swath of mostly public sector education and training programs provided to those who work in and benefit from agriculture and rural development activities. While the acronym is short and compact the AET “system” is complex and multi-faceted, spanning activities that range from: graduate and undergraduate degree programs; sub-tertiary diploma qualifications; certificate (secondary plus one) courses; Agricultural Technical Vocational Education and Training (ATVET); agricultural cooperatives training; in-service training for public and private sector service providers; and farmer training; to life-long-learning events.
The AET system is the knowledge and skills backbone for scientific agriculture and commercial agricultural development. The institutions and programs that comprise this system prepare men and women for sector employment.
AET graduates must be able to deal with traditional production and marketing problems, plus emerging challenges such as climate change, globalization of markets, the rising cost of energy, persistence of rural poverty, looming water shortages and the continuing growth of world population.
Traditionally, agricultural education and training has been largely, but not exclusively, supplied and supported by the public sector. Although the various elements in the AET delivery chain are often referred to collectively as a “system” in many developing countries the systems are not very robust. The impact of systems is reflected in the questionable relevance and quality of degree, diploma, and in-service training programs offered in many countries around the world.
Culled from US AID report “Building Capacity in Agricultural Education & Training