In order to train the next generation of family farms and Fifata group agricultural professional organizations, agri-agency Fert and Cneap have been supporting a system of initial training and professional integration of young people in agriculture since 2001. 5 regional agricultural colleges were created and are federated within Fekama, a member of the Fifata group.

What led Fekama, Fifata and Fert to consider adapting training in agricultural colleges in 2019?

  • The increasing difficulty for rural families to pay school fees (rice and school fees) for 3 years;
  • Competition from other very short and free training schemes for young people;
  • The desire to increase the time spent learning in the workplace.

What will be Fekama’s new educational system?

It is envisaged that from the start of the 2020-2021 school year, the training will consist of 2 years of classroom training at the college (in boarding school) and one year mainly composed of internships on the family farm and on the farms of other farmers (internship tutors) to prepare the young person’s professional project.

How to build a new pedagogical reference system?

To assist Fekama in preparing for this change, Fert mobilized two people from Cneap for a 15-day mission to Fekama: Thierry Dedieu, Deputy Secretary General, and Charles Joseph, Project Manager Educational Support and School Organization.

During this mission, the business and skills reference framework, as well as the training and certification (evaluation) frameworks, were reviewed. The challenge is to make the 3rd year known as “in-situ” a real learning environment for students, even though they are not present in the college.

An accompanying document has also been prepared with indicative hourly volumes and pedagogical recommendations to assist college trainers in the implementation of these new standards. Indeed, Fekama’s ambition is to strengthen the support of trainers in the implementation of pedagogical methods that make greater use of students’ reasoning skills and promote learning through role-playing, in particular through educational agricultural exploitation.

But the preparation work does not stop there!

Fekama will still have to identify, train and support future internship tutors, develop new student assessment grids, distribute tasks between trainers and professional integration advisors and train them…

The challenge of preserving the training-integration continuum will be all the greater as from 2020 these vocational integration advisers will be based with the regional federations of Fifata member farmers’ organisations (and no longer with the colleges). The purpose of this transfer is to provide better support for young people trained over the long term and to facilitate their involvement in the Fifata group’s farmers’ organisations.

“Fekama is adapting its training to better meet the professional challenges of agriculture. All its team is mobilized around the training of young people, future farmers. This new standard adapted to the professional skills of the farmer’s profession allows a new lease of life for training in agricultural colleges and meets Fifata’s objective: an agriculture that is changing is family, professional and competitive farms that are expanding to enable farmers to earn a better income and feed their families and their country.”

Charles JOSEPH-BRESSETCNEAP