This project aims to increase the knowledge on all aspects of potato farming in more than 50% of the potato sector in Argentina in a durable way.
(Targeted) project results
- A Train the Trainer programme that will result in training 64 persons (8x8) both in technical know-how of all the aspects of potato cultivation (production of ware and seed potatoes, crop protection, soil management, fertilisation, storage, irrigation, economy) as well as in educational aspects enabling them to transfer this knowledge to other trainers and setting up and executing educational programmes in schools and colleges. In this way all aspects of the potato value chain are addressed. The group of trainers which will exchange information regularly and the initiative will be taken to set up an autonomously functioning Potato Academy;
- 64 trainers will work as a trainer/advisor in the potato sector in Argentina. Their work will include organising and carrying out demonstrations;
- Increased knowledge in Argentina about innovation in the potato value chain, the equipment and services that the Netherlands has to offer. This knowledge is provided to the Argentinian farmers that jointly cultivate more than 50% of the Argentinian potato acreage or roughly 40.000 hectares;
- A selected number of at least 10 vocational schools, agricultural colleges and sector organisations are trained by the trainers of this project in technical know-how of all the aspects of potato cultivation (production of ware and seed potatoes, crop protection, soil management, fertilisation, storage, irrigation, economy);
- The training programme (in English) is elaborated in concise educational handbooks thus enabling that curriculum and educational backgrounds can be used in Argentina;
- The training is embedded in the existing educational programmes;
- A programme to offer students of agricultural faculties of several universities the possibility to do practical training by accompanying the trainers in our project when at work, giving extension to a group of potato growers, is developed. Students will thus do their practical training consisting of at least 2 weeks practical extension work;
- 8 trainers trained in practical and theoretical knowledge and skills in the potato sector. Important aspects of this training are production, harvest, storage, seed potato production and mechanisation. They will also receive an educational training which will provide them with skills to transfer their technical knowledge to other trainers and also integrate it in the curriculum of schools and colleges. To facilitate this integration, it will be suggested to include one or two “potato teachers” into this trainer group;
- The trainers are able to advise on the economic effects of investments in innovative equipment and crop-management models, based on the results of the 2g@there demonstration projects on seed- and ware potatoes cultivation, handling and packing. This will include calculations on in- and outputs, investment requirements and effect on cost price per unit. The demonstration projects will start in November 2012 and will run for 3 years until October 2015;
- The trainers receive an official certificate when they have completed the training including mentioning of the training subjects and hours study-load;
- A ‘learning at distance’ model will be set up in which the trainees may ask and receive interactive advice from PPO/Aeres on any potato related issue they encounter.
WUR (PPO-AGV, PRI) takes the lead with Aeres and Agriment
- Organise the embedding of the new potato knowledge in the curricula of the vocational schools and agricultural colleges in two missions to Argentina (Result 1: December 2012-December 2013);
- Selection of 8 trainers with a profile including the following criteria: at least finished a 5 year technical or agricultural training, basic knowledge and affinity to the potato sector, experience as a trainer/extension officer, English speaking and working in the potato sector in Argentina (Result 2: December 2012);
- A three-week potato course in The Netherlands to train 8 Argentinian trainers in practical and theoretical aspects of potato production. Excursions to leading companies in the potato sector (Result 2: October 2013);
- During the time the Dutch trainers are not present in Argentina, the trainers in Argentina will be coached from The Netherlands making use of different communication means (e-mail, phone, Skype, tele-conference, web-seminars) (Result 3: December 2012-November 2015);
- Organise the actual transfer of the new potato knowledge in the vocational schools and agricultural colleges in two missions to Argentina (Result 4: December 2013-November 2015); including agreements on practical periods for students to be realized by accompanying the trainers during their work;
- A training program in Argentina: 3 years with 5 training sessions per season on GITAH demonstration locations in SEBA and Cordoba, thus covering all important 5 phases of the growing season (preparation, planting, growing season, harvest and storage). The 8 trainers will in their turn train 8 trainers each thus resulting in a group of 64 trainers (Result 5: December 2012-November 2015).