This course was organized jointly with educational institutions and facilitated by the Horti-Sempre project. The programme took the form of theoretical and practical classes and was taught by four national and four renowned international experts in the field of horticulture. These experts shared their knowledge and experience on each topic. Some modules were attended by at least 5 to 10 additional invited professionals, representatives of other institutions, Inputs suppliers and entrepreneurs.
The aim of this vocational training was to generate technical skills at the level of professionals and teachers providing technical assistance and rural extension services to smallholder’s farmers on issues related to vegetable production in Nampula province. Another objective of the training was the development of a technical content protocol to standardize processes in higher education or postgraduate courses.
The training comprised 7 modules (224 teaching hours). The time was extended due to the interruptions caused by the state of emergency declared in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The covered topics were: 1) integrated pest and disease management and safe and responsible use of pesticides, 2) seed production technology, 3) irrigation and drainage systems, 4) soil management and fertilization, 5) integrated crop management and good agricultural practices (tomato, onion, garlic, bell pepper, lettuce and cabbage), 6) postharvest and packaging, 7) production cost analysis, accounting and business plans.
The training took place on the Rovuma University campus in Nampula city, and the practical activities involved study visits and guided tours to several communities and districts of the province (Rapale, Namialo, Nacololo, Anchilo), so that students had the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge in practice.
The participants were satisfied with the professional course and undertook to replicate the training with agricultural students in their educational establishments. In addition, to expand this knowledge, a WhatsApp group has been created, which so far has 52 members, including teachers and students, and new members are being added. This group enables interaction, information sharing, and the presentation of problems and solutions among participants in an interactive way. It is considered a "Community of Practice" of local experts.
According to the director of the Horti-Sempre project, Ricardo Alem, "the replication process is already underway, although the pandemic has made it difficult to take the normal course of this activity, but we are on a good path."