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Curricula and Farming Trainings in Senegal: Extension Workers’ Skills and needs in Farming Risks Management

In Senegal, the farming technicians who were in the educational system in place in the 1960s did not allow to ensure food security. Today, the orientation of public policies has favored alternative agricultural trainings. In the context of global changes, these trainings have to integrate the development of skills in farming risks assessment and management. How might such an integration be brought about? The objective of this study is to determine the extension workers training needs in farming risks management, in order to contribute to the improvement of a farming skills development system. The methodology, combining quantitative and qualitative data, allowed to interview 25 farming advisors and to analyze the models of three higher training structures. Advisors, who consider farming risks management as a trendy “fashionable concept” coined by the intervening agencies, have a deficit in skills on the subject. They do not clearly integrate risks management in their function as farming development advisors. Training needs identified seem important and are of three types (basic skills, cross-curricular competencies and specific skills). Models do not clearly integrate these skills, even though some modules allow tackling them. Needs identified, militate in favor of an evolution of curricula and farming training approaches. The success of such an evolution may depend on the reorganization of the system of farming skills development in Senegal. Undoubtedly, any training development activity in farming risks management has to be integrated into a sustainable interdisciplinary strategy that takes into account the mitigating, transfer and adapting measures. The perception of farming advisors on farming risks management does not militate in favor of isolated and offhanded actions.

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