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Fort Cox College of Agriculture and Forestry

Rural Development Centre

HOD

__________
Designation: RDC Manager

BACKGROUND

Fort Cox College, is renowned for offering credible natural resource management based training since the 1930’s. The Rural Development Centre (RDC) is a section of Fort Cox College, which provides a wide range of training, mentoring and facilitation, through accredited and non-accredited short course training and learnerships. The anticipated benefits of using this centre comprise; a rural environment conducive for natural resource based training, a variety of services at a central point, (such as training facilities, reasonable accommodation and dining area), a close proximity to the farm and the fields; all factors which enhance an integrated learning.

VISION

To be the leading centre of learning in sustainable Agriculture and Forestry in Southern Africa

MISSION STATEMENT

Facilitate, coordinate and conduct training, mentoring, development and application of practical knowledge in the sustainable utilization of natural resources to improve rural livelihoods.

PURPOSE

The Centre offers training in various options in line with the dynamic needs of the industry and rural environment. This department also enables the qualified learner to understand, promote, apply and integrate agricultural aspects of rural development into the socio – economic development of individuals, communities, NGO’s, private enterprises, and local, regional and national government.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE AND DISTINCTION

Fort Cox is situated in the centre of rural areas of the Eastern Cape which is considered to be the poorest in the country. The economy of the province is based on agriculture particularly crop and animal production. Fort Cox College has been so competitive in producing high calibre graduates in agriculture and forestry since the early 1970’s. Such reputation of maintaining high quality standards has filtered through to the RDC.

POSITION OF RDC TO THE COLLEGE STRATEGIC PLAN.

RDC intends to strategically position itself such that it contributes directly and indirectly towards achieving the desired goals of the College, specifically, contributions will be made through the following:

  • Conducting economic research of rural agricultural production systems; recommendations of which will help to improve farmers’ efficiency in food production
  • Offering skills training to farmers, community members, development agents and practitioners of the industry in Crop and Animal Production, General Business and Financial Management, Computer Application and Social Facilitation
  • Provide accommodation, conference facilities as well practical demonstration sites for training and learnerships
  • As part of outreach programme, to offer skills training to staff members of other organizations in improved management systems of Crop and Animal production techniques, Financial Management and Computer Skills to improve productivity
  • Promotion of agriculture and forestry as careers of choice through up skilling of educators in agricultural science and practical demonstrations to learners.
  • RDC PROGRAMMES

    1. Educators’ training

    This is a training programme aimed at up skilling educators in identified areas such as genetics, soil chemistry, soil science and animal production.

    2. Training of Extension Officers

    It has been realised that Extension Officers need to be retrained in some aspects of agriculture. RDC is facilitating such training through the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform.

    3. School outreach

    The purpose of the programme is to promote agriculture as a career by organising and attending career exhibitions.

    4. Social Development Beneficiary Training

    5. ECDC Training and mentoring of Cooperatives

    6. Facilitation of development initiatives

    7. National Rural Youth Services Cooperation (NARYSEC)

    This is a programme for the training of targeted youth for a period of two years (skills programme).

    8. Training of out of school youth

    Many young people who leave school do not get an easy entry into the job market. RDC believe that by training these young people in different aspects such as Project Management, Computer Skills, Leadership and Life Skills.