Training and development of human resources have been a core element of capacity building. Human resource development is central to the sustainability of any development effort hence investments in training and human resource capacity building are necessary as they are an important part of agricultural productivity and the economic well-being of our nation.
DAL has the responsibility to develop and motivate its human resources therefore training is tailored to meet the department’s needs while contributing to the development of skills and knowledge of its workforce. It endeavours to develop a positive and corporate culture as manifested in the values, norms, and the management style of DAL; which combine to promote commitment to excellence and quality throughout the department.
The Agriculture Education and Training (AE&T) Branch, which performs a core function for DAL, is mandated to coordinate, facilitate and manage the development of human resource in the sector. The development of human resource is carried out by means of facilitating or conducting training at tertiary levels in selected Colleges and Universities both overseas and in country. Most of the areas of training are in agricultural business enterprise, scientific innovation, policy planning and management. etc.; targeting women and youth, extension officers, technicians and scientists, and officers at administrative and executive levels.
The objectives of the AE&T Branch embrace the National Goals and Directive Principles relating to Integral Human Resource Development and the Vision 2050 Pillar Number One on Human Capital Development, the MTDP, the aligned NADP and the Cooperate Plan of the department.
The main objectives are:
- Formulation of a 5-year Capacity Development Plan for the sector,
- Coordinate the implementation of the plan with appropriate agencies in the sector,
- Facilitate establishment of governance and executive management training for agriculture industry leaders,
- Facilitate increased work experience based vocational training,
- Facilitate establishment of agribusiness skills training, including marketing, plantation management, business management, and exporting,
- Identify cost-effective models for delivering training to men, women, youth and HIV/AIDS in rural communities, and
- Monitor and evaluate progress of capacity development in the sector
The focus for training in agriculture is at the farmer [agriculture business (entrepreneurial)] level, which is conducted through formal and informal training programs. The Department also supports and strengthens agricultural education and training in the formal school (education) curriculum in agriculture science, research and development. It supports and encourages partnership with all agencies involved to develop the human resource base for the sector. The Department recognizes the special and important role of women in Agriculture and a lot of emphasis is being placed on training of women agriculturist and farmers.
The conducting of the Agriculture Management Training Program (AMTP) also enable DAL to foster linkages with the private sector involved in Agriculture industry especially in the plantation management sector.
Functional Role of AE&T
The main role of AE&T is to coordinate, facilitate and manage Human Resource Development for the agriculture sector. The Branch has four main programs. These are, Staff Training, Staff Development, In-Service Training including the Post Certificate Diploma (PCD) the Chinese Technical Cooperation program dealing with Rice Farmer Training, Agriculture Management Training (AMT) implemented at the Highlands Agriculture College and the Lae In-service Centre and lastly Administration and Management that deals also with coordination of the HIV/AIDS programs. The Branch has a total staff on strength capacity of 44 Public Servants and 33 Casuals total of 77 staff. However has a vacancy of twenty – six positions that are yet too filled.
1. Staff Development
The Staff development consists of two sections: Staff Appraisal and Career Development Planning. The unit is responsible for coordinating the departments staff development and localization programs through the Staff Development and Training Committee chaired by the Deputy Secretary, Corporate Services. The four main areas of concentration are the Selection, Staff Performance Appraisal, Career Development Planning and Localization.
2. Staff Training
The Staff Training Unit is responsible for the coordination and facilitation of In-Service Training for National and Provincial DAL staff (both In Country and Overseas). The section liaises closely with the Department of Personnel Management and Aid Donors in preparing Annual Training Bids for the Department. Training Unit also assist in developing and maintaining the HRD Database.
3. In-Service Training / Education
The In-service and Education section is responsible for the overseeing of training institutions and is responsible for the reviewing and development of curriculums. The Highlands Agriculture College (HAC) in Mt Hagen and the Livestock In-service Training Centre (LISTC) in Lae are the only remaining institutions that are solely managed and administered by DAL to cater for the training of its sector is Human Resources and has a very special place in the history of agriculture development in Papua New Guinea.
3.1 Highlands Agricultural College, Mt Hagen
This college has produced well over 3,000 PCD graduates, and well over 2,000 trainees in Certificate in Farming including short specialized training courses which is a significant achievement for the college the department and the sector as a whole. The HAC also since 2007, continues to conduct three programs concurrently i.e., the Post Certificate Diploma (PCD) program the Certificate in Farmer Training (CAF) and short ad-hoc courses including operational Skill, Rice farming and HIV/AIDS.
3.2 Livestock In-service Training Centre, Lae
While the LISTC has ceased to conduct short training programs due to chronic law and order problems as well as lack of water pressure and rundown facilities/buildings.