In 2015, Ep-Nuffic (The Organization for Internationalization of Education) agreed to fund a capacity building project through Netherlands Initiative for capacity development in Higher Education (NICHE) titled “Developing of Latia Resource Center”, (NUFFIC/KEN/213). The main objective of the Project is to develop and maintain entrepreneurial agriculture training and programs in an innovative, market-driven and gender-sensitive manner, adaptive to changing circumstances”. In order to achieve this objective, the strategy of the project is built on two pillars and outputs:
a) Institutional and Business Capacity Development (Output 1) b) Curriculum and Technical Capacity Development (Output 2)
The first output, “Institutional and Business Capacity Development”, focuses on a gender scan conducted by Mzumbe University, Tanzania. The purpose of the assignment is to determine the current situation and to propose gender mainstreaming strategies for Latia. Ultimately, revised and new gender policies will be recommended for the center.
Education and skills development is a key tool to alleviate socio-economic problems. Women face numerous constraints to access education and training at all levels. The problems include the unfriendly pedagogy especially in technical and science subjects, which require competitiveness and some degree of assertiveness which female students often lack. The existing social cultural attitudes often tend to inhibit female students from excelling in technical based education when compared to male students. Less female students are enrolled in technical institutions. In order to attain gender equality
in enrollment and women’s employment, gender has to be mainstreamed in tertiary institutions in African countries… reads the Gender Scan report presented to Latia.
NICHE supports staff development, as well as, key infrastructure to enhance the company’s capacity. This involves short courses, exposure visits, exchanges and project development. Capacity building on gender began on Monday – February 22, 2016, at Latia, with a number of staff participating.
Latia Resource Center includes practical agricultural training, incubation and consultancy focusing on horticulture, in a modern mixed-farm set up. The anchor program is the Agriculture Apprenticeship for young people looking to engage careers in the food production sector.