Agribusiness short course is improving people's livelihoods in Africa

The Australia Awards Agribusiness Short Course, designed by The University of Queensland’s (UQ) International Development unit was specifically for participants from 15 African countries, provided learning experiences related to agribusiness to enhance participants’ ability to engage with and influence challenges regarding sustainable economic development in their home country, profession, workplace and community.

Australia Awards Short Courses are funded by the Australian Government and help to promote security and prosperity. They enable mid-career professionals and emerging leaders to tap into Australian expertise and gain valuable skills and knowledge. Australia Awards Short Courses build enduring links between people and institutions both within Australia and in-country and provide opportunities for recipients to undertake short-term study, research and professional development in support of key development and foreign affairs priorities.

Key features included using value chain methodology as the context around which the curriculum is delivered. The program offered balanced content and experiences to maintain engagement and interest, and enabled participants to accesses value chains of major Australian agricultural industries from a South-East Queensland training base. Furthermore, the course collaborated with African partners during the course design phase to ensure participants were supported upon their return to Africa.

Meet the participants

The five participants share their experiences from the course. These participants have continued to apply their new skills and knowledge from the course into their profession, workplace, and community.

Sheila Apopo
Sheila is a Senior Livestock Production Officer at the Department of Livestock in Nairobi City County, with experience in extension and capacity building for smallholder livestock farmers in urban areas. After completing the Australia Awards Short Course in Agribusiness, Sheila applied her new Value Chain Thinking knowledge and skills to indigenous chicken production in Kenya.

Find out more about Sheila's work in the Kenyan Indigenous Chicken Value Chain.

Raonivelo Sariaka Harisoa
Sariaka has been working at the Madagascan Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries for almost 20 years supporting smallholder and farmers’ organisations. Sariaka found the best aspect of the course was the practical group exercises examining a dairy value chain in Queensland and a yam chain in Ghana. “They demonstrated the importance of walking the whole chain and starting with consumer research in order to understand what they value and will pay for."

Find out more about Sariaka's work in developing new orange-fleshed sweet potato products in Madagascar.

Olalekan Paul Akande
Paul is the Director of Agribusiness and Sustainability at the Institute of Export Operations and Management, a trade and investment support institute in Nigeria. “At The University of Queensland, I learnt the importance of the different attributes that consumers are willing to pay for, and that linking farmers to markets should be consumer-value-driven, rather than farmer-productivity-driven.” 

Find out more about Paul's work in Nigerian Catfish Value Chains.

Janet Ogbeyalu Nwaekpe
Janet is a senior research scientist working for the National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike, Nigeria. “My Australian experience exposed me to both the theoretical and practical aspects of Value Chain Thinking. At The University of Queensland, we learnt the principles and heard about case studies, and then crucially saw it in practice for ourselves through lots of site visits.”

Find out more about Janet's work in the Nigerian Ginger Value Chain.

Yakubu Abukari
Yakubu joined the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in 2004. “While I had used the term ‘value chain’ before, the course provided me with a deeper understanding of consumer-focused Value Chain Thinking and its practical application in agricultural project development and extension service delivery. The practical fieldwork of walking different chains in both Australia and Ghana and the face-to-face interaction with industry players showed that the concepts could be applied regardless of a chain’s size or complexity.”

Find out more about Yakuba's work in the Ghanaian Guinea Fowl Value Chain.

Last updated:
12 February 2021