Skills/Human Resources: Regenerative agriculture in the curriculum

To develop skills and human resources in Regenerative Agriculture, the InGuider Model serves as an education and apprenticeship platform connecting higher education and private sectors in the field of Agroecology. The skilled human resources will then be able to provide technical knowledge to smallholder farmers.  However, much work needs to be done. Regenerative Agriculture curriculum need to be designed. Courses need to be offered to students. There is huge investment that needs to be made in this area.


Cambodia’s extension service remains a challenge associated with a low number of extension service provider, especially from the universities. Hence, improving human resource in education system is crucial to bring about significant improvement in the overall performance in the agriculture sector and contribute to the RGC’s commitment to move towards CA/SI and Regenerative Agriculture. However according to the Faculty of Agriculture Engineering (FAE), there is no internship curriculum on CA/SI and Regenerative Agriculture that faculty follows. This lack of a structured internship curriculum leads to a lack of technical human resources that poses a major impediment to the progress of sustainable and Regenerative Agriculture in Cambodia.

The InGuider model was developed by FAE and Swisscontact to work specifically with university students in the agriculture sector to equip and empower them with relevant skills, by providing them with quality hands-on training via internships. The essence of the InGuider model lies in (1) the structured and centralized approach of the program (i.e., the faculty provide support in pre-selecting the companies rather than the students finding companies on their own, if required), (2) the pre-internship training for students and (3) close supervision of the students by a faculty supervisor throughout the internship period.

Aims and Objectives

The InGuider model aims to improve the employability and market readiness of the graduates by creating more internship opportunities for students in the field of regenerative agriculture. The model provides quality hands-on training via standardized and coherent internship program and solve the issue of private sector in finding qualified human resources, all while strengthening skills, capacity and technical human resource around regenerative agriculture.

Institutionalization Vision

The InGuider model has been adopted by the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering at Royal University of Agriculture. However, this is only the beginning, as much more work still needs to be done on developing and embedding the regenerative agriculture curriculum system in education institutions. It is envisioned that the model will eventually be adopted by other faculties in the university and integrated in the curriculum and promoted nationwide. The private sector also sees the value of the model and demand technical human resources to be a part of their workplace and offer full funding on opportunities that would enable students to receive hands-on experience.

InGuider in the Making

Partnership with Royal University of Agriculture
Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) partnered with the Mekong Inclusive Growth and Innovation Programme (MIGIP), the predecessor of ISA, to incorporate the human centred design (HCD) approach into their curriculum to increase student’s capacity in agriculture innovation and to increase the acceptability, accessibility, affordability, and adoptability of new technologies through end user-engagement during the technology development process.
Evolution of the proposed curriculum
The concept of the HCD curriculum evolved into a curriculum that provides students with hands on experience on sustainable agriculture to address the issues of lack of human resources in the field of regenerative agriculture. Therefore, the InGuider model was developed as an internship program to improve the employability and market readiness of the graduates by creating more internship opportunities for students in sustainable agriculture field.
Implementation of the InGuider model
From June 2019 to December 2020, the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering (FAE) of the Royal University of Agriculture ran the InGuider internship program in cooperation with Swisscontact. The project aimed at addressing the challenges mentioned above while maximizing benefits to both the interns and the hosting institutions, using a structured and centralized approach. The program succeeded. This approach qualified as a model to be introduced to other faculties and universities, especially in the agricultural sector.
Development and finalization of the InGuider Handbook
The InGuider handbook was developed by Faculty of Agricultural Engineering (FAE), Swisscontact through the Mekong Inclusive Growth and Innovation Program (MIGIP), and Toward Excellence in Engineering Curricula for Dual Education (TEEDE).
InGuider Model embedded within the Faculty of Agriculture Engineering
In 2022, the Faculty of Engineering has embedded the InGuider in its curriculum and has also planned to propose the University to embed InGuider within the university curriculum system. An MoU between FAE and the private sector was signed in May 2022, for internship opportunities for students. The curriculum and academic schedule were successfully revised to ensure that students have enough time to participate in the internship program. This improvement plan is indicated in the 5-years strategy of the faculty (2020-2025). A total of 18 students and 5 private sector actors participated in the InGuider program from August to November 2022.
Incorporate InGuider at the University level
In 2023, the InGuider is envisaged to be incorporated at the university level. An official meeting with the Planning and International Cooperation Office (PICO) to institutionalize InGuider model at the university level has been planned. Furthermore, InGuider will also be a part of and promoted in career fairs. An evaluation workshop along with a Training of Trainers for PICO staff will also be conducted. Strategies to embed this as part of CSR or companies will also be developed. Lastly, a minimum of 10 internship placements will be done in the regenerative agriculture domain.

Events & Articles

Sustainable agriculture
Assessing the InGuider Internship Model
On March 21, 2023, the Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture hosted an evaluation workshop in collaboration with the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering (FAE) at the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA).
Sustainable agriculture
Student intern shares experience from InGuider Model
Pha Sreynich, 22 years old, a current student at the Royal University of Agriculture (RUA), Faculty of Agriculture Engineering is studying to pursue a career in supporting the development of Cambodia’s agriculture sector. She moved from Banteay Meanchey province to Phnom Penh to attend university, and her journey with the Cambodian Conservation Agriculture Research for Development Center (CARDEC) started in August 2022 after learning about the internship opportunity through InGuider.
Sustainable agriculture
InGuider Experience Sharing Workshop
On Monday, 17th January 2022, the first Annual ‘InGuider Experience Sharing Workshop was organized by the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering (FAE) of Royal University of Agriculture (RUA) for students who completed their internships through the InGuider[1] program. The workshop aimed to showcase the internship experiences of students who successfully completed their internship at various companies and to promote the InGuider program to new attending companies while also gathering fruitful inputs from the participants to improve InGuider.
The InGuider Experience
InGuider (Internship Guider) is a four-stage guideline in preparing and running a well-structured internship program for universities in Cambodia. This article features the experience of Swisscontact’s Mekong Inclusive Growth and Innovation Programme (MIGIP), in collaboration with Faculty of Agricultural Engineering (FAE) of Royal University of Agriculture (RUA), in implementing the InGuider model in Cambodia.
Sustainable agriculture
Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health: The InGuider Experience
International Youth Day, celebrated annually on 12 August aims to bring youth issues to the attention of the international community and to celebrate the potential of youth as active partners in the global society
Initial vocational education and training, Labour market insertion
An Empowering Role Model for Women in Cambodia’s Agricultural Engineering Sector
A Story from the ‘InGuider’ Model- Cambodia

From a mechanic-intern to a full-time staff, Phoun Sokheng, a 23-year-old speaks about her experience of undergoing an internship following the InGuider model, which has significantly shaped her career prospect and expanded her life skills.

InGuider is an internship programme co-designed by the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering, of the Royal University of Agriculture and the MIGIP project implemented by Swisscontact.

Her journey with a private company started in 2019, when she, as a student of Faculty of Agricultural Engineering from Royal University of Agriculture (RUA), learnt about the Internship opportunity.