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Realising the potential of png’s youth. By A Ramakrishna,


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Science for Impact- Building The Critical Mass. Workshop Facilitated by CTA and Jointly Organized by UNRE, NARI and USP School of Agriculture and Food Technology, Samoa

Theme 2. Support for and Promotion of Research.

There were two presentations from two of PNG’s major research institutions. Dr Ramakrishna of PNG’s National Agricultural Research Institute spoke on realizing the potential of PNG youth: linking university education, research and business. The challenges for agriculture and real and critical. Partnerships are necessary to meet the shortcomings in institutional capacity, entrepreneurship and leadership. The key is in enhancing the attractiveness of agricultural education through development of the opportunities and advantages of the partnerships.

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Realising the potential of png’s youth. By A Ramakrishna,

  1. 1. A Ramakrishna PNG National Agricultural Research Institute
  2. 2. <ul><li>Population is growing at a rate of 2.5% a year while food production is either stagnant or negative side </li></ul><ul><li>Access to food is a bigger socio-economic problem confronting today </li></ul><ul><li>We have not only to increase the productivity but also ensure profitability and incomes through on-farm/off-farm employment opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Per capita availability of arable land is declining </li></ul><ul><li>input use efficiency is relatively low </li></ul><ul><li>Land and water resources are facing acute degradation stress </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>To take advantage of underperforming technologies </li></ul><ul><li>yields 2X higher in South Asia & 2.5 times higher in East Asia </li></ul><ul><li>To respond to the most assuredly growing global market </li></ul><ul><li>To address the big issues of the 21st century, i.e. hunger and poverty through employment (especially of youths), climate change and water scarcity </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>unemployed desperate internally displaced people </li></ul><ul><li>Accelerated destruction of forests, the world’s 2 nd lung </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of irreplaceable plant, animal and insect biodiversity </li></ul><ul><li>Increased food insecurity if land is devoted to non-food crops without commensurate increases in productivity of food crops and livestock </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>What PNG has in abundance for making good investment: </li></ul><ul><li>Sound technical opportunities in agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>Plentiful sources of potentially skilled workers </li></ul><ul><li>More capital than can currently be absorbed </li></ul><ul><li>What PNG does not have sufficient of for wide scale investmen t? </li></ul><ul><li>High level human and institutional capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Entrepreneurs and problem solvers </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership in identifying and exploiting socially responsible opportunities for investment in agriculture and the environment </li></ul><ul><li>A new approach is needed that will produce : </li></ul><ul><li>PNG agricultural and environmental entrepreneurs </li></ul><ul><li>Socially responsible profitable sustainable innovation in agriculture and the environment </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>To propel PNG agriculture the quality, technical skills and the management, agriculture manpower must improve in consonance with rapidly changing needs of our society —both nationally and internationally. </li></ul><ul><li>A revision and reorientation of the present system of agriculture education </li></ul><ul><li>Change of concept of higher education from theoretical to that of practical nature to address the problems of the farming sector </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching institutions have to link up with the R&D to obtain information on modern farming technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Growth in agriculture propels higher industrial growth and brings economic transformation for vast segments of society </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural universities, must address all relevant issues and concerns by fostering linkages among teaching, research and extension related programs </li></ul><ul><li>If the education imparted is not tuned to the current and future realities, the national research, extension and agri-business system will be adversely affected despite large investments in infrastructure, extension network and scientific institutions. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Agricultural education is generally missing the spark and not able to </li></ul><ul><li>promote excellence in science </li></ul><ul><li>make agriculture more meaningful </li></ul><ul><li>attract graduates and render them more entrepreneurial </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Linking university education, research and business will support the following interventions: </li></ul><ul><li>Development and implementation of collaborative programmes between universities, research institutions and the private sector which foster innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Development and implementation of improved and better contextualized UG and PG teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitating exchange of experiences and sharing of resources and knowledge </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>What are the challenges of linking tertiary education, research and business in support of ago-businesses? </li></ul><ul><li>The universities need to be persuaded of the following advantages: </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for career-enhancing research </li></ul><ul><li>Research opportunities for postgraduates </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for student placements </li></ul><ul><li>Access to up-to-date and contextually correct information and data for content of agro-business teaching and training </li></ul><ul><li>Funding for on-campus research related to the innovations </li></ul><ul><li>Access to private enterprise and research communities for advice on curricula reform to produce the kind of graduates that are needed for today’s industry, i.e. problem solvers and job creators </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Universities (contd) </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying innovations and business opportunities that will interest and attract the participation of the different parties </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying truly competent partners </li></ul><ul><li>Getting university, research and business faculties to work together </li></ul><ul><li>Respecting the different roles of the partners and the universities and agricultural research letting go when they are no longer required </li></ul><ul><li>Allocating resources between partners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>especially to agro-business which is perceived to be rich </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Respecting and sharing IP rights and commercial confidentiality </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Agricultural research institutions need to be persuaded of the following advantages: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity to contribute to innovation that will promote PNG agriculture and natural resource management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chances to contribute to innovation that will scale-up their research results, products and outputs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staff will benefiting from interaction with colleagues in universities and private enterprises for relevant high-impact research </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>What will it take to get the active involvement of private sector businesses in the initiative? </li></ul><ul><li>Agro-businesses are sceptical about collaboration with not–for-profit players so they must be assured that: </li></ul><ul><li>the other partners are serious </li></ul><ul><li>the other partners are conscious of the cost of time </li></ul><ul><li>the other partners have the capacity and expertise to be of real assistance (need to engage both agriculture and business faculties) </li></ul><ul><li>IP and commercial confidentiality will be respected </li></ul><ul><li>there will be capital for investing in scaling up the innovations </li></ul><ul><li>the partnership will endure to help with emerging problems </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>What will it take to get the active involvement of private sector businesses in the initiative? </li></ul><ul><li>Private entrepreneurs will need to be persuaded of the following advantages: </li></ul><ul><li>Competent assistance in conducting feasibility studies </li></ul><ul><li>Access to cost-effective problem solving expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Access to adequately equipped laboratories and field sites for multiplication and testing of technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Access to well qualified mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Support by effective advocacy in raising capital for up-scaling successful innovations </li></ul><ul><li>The ability to return for help with unpredicted emerging problems </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><ul><ul><li>1. Fostering agricultural innovation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>facilitate innovation by establishing better linkages between universities, research and agro-businesses in addressing constraints and opportunities in agricultural value chains . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>collaborations that foster innovation, by supporting collaboration with businesses in research , facilitating start-ups by graduates through establishing “innovation camps” or enabling universities to link-up with businesses in local communities and at national or regional levels. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>holistic supporting measures including assistance with the initial concept, financing, business skills, mentoring and access to knowledge and tools for self-learning; and support to inter-disciplinary and multi-agency research teams that include students, farmers and rural communities in action-oriented research and development projects </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>1. Fostering agricultural innovation (cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>Engaging universities in agricultural development and, together with new thinking, and for investment in improved facilities </li></ul><ul><li>A number of MS & PhD fellowship grants (gender balanced) on topics that emphasize: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovative problem-solving relevant to the needs of the rural poor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>climate change mitigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sustainable economic growth </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>2. Improving agricultural teaching and learning at graduate and postgraduate level </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Support should be provided to enable universities to engage with research institutions and the private sector in developing improved, up-to-date and contextually relevant teaching and learning approaches, and resources for UG and PG programmes. </li></ul><ul><li>Three-way university-research-business engagement in revising curricula </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>2. Improving agricultural teaching and learning at graduate and postgraduate level </li></ul><ul><li>  Development and implementation of improved open access teaching and learning resources for UG and PG programmes with the emphasis on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem-based learning; practical and experiential training with internships; agro-business; analytical skills; systems skills for teamwork relating to diverse stakeholders; and managing interdisciplinary and multi institutional programmes that address emerging issues such as climate change, water scarcity and energy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>PhD training with focus on agricultural value chains and innovation systems designed to strengthen the capacity of less well-resourced universities and women candidates in particular </li></ul><ul><li>The available resources should be leveraged through collaboration with regional and international networks </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>3 . Exchanging experiences, resources and knowledge for agricultural development </li></ul><ul><li>  Support to develop and sustain one or more successful tertiary agricultural educational networks to extend collaboration beyond the member universities themselves. This will enable them to collaborate with agricultural research institutions and private enterprise firms. </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthening a successful tertiary agricultural education network to facilitate the exchange of experiences and dissemination of knowledge. The aim is to promote change and sensitize recipients to the need for change and innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing of human and physical resources to build critical mass in quantity and range of capacities to address critical issues, including improving teaching and learning and capacity to respond to challenges emerging from climate change and globalization </li></ul><ul><li>Documenting experience and the impact and exchanging lessons learned </li></ul>
  19. 19. Thank You