Seychelles agricultural and horticultural training centre



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Seychelles agricultural and horticultural training centre

The Seychelles Agricultural and Horticultural Training Centre (or Agrotropolis) is a national training facility for the sugarcane, bananas, cocoa, coffee and cashew industries of the Seychelles. It was established on 15 January 1980 by the Seychelles Government under the Seychelles Training Board.

Agrotropolis, established in 1980, is the flagship project of the Seychelles government’s economic development plan, and has played a key role in the island's sustainable economic growth since its inception. Agrotropolis is recognized as one of the best examples of an Integrated Training Center (ITC) in the world. In addition to its key agricultural, food processing, and tourism (A-E-T) focused training programs, Agrotropolis has helped expand its client base in the infrastructure and energy sectors.

Agrotropolis has played a critical role in shaping the island's economic growth and development over the past three decades, and will continue to provide a platform to train and empower the islands’ youth to create a more sustainable future.

Agrotropolis is located in the central part of the Seychelles, just outside the capital city of Victoria. Approximately 25 ,km from the airport, it is easily accessible by road. The course curriculum includes 11 modules over a period of a year. The duration of stay at Agrotropolis is 18 months.

Agrotropolis offers a comprehensive training and mentoring program for its trainees, including the opportunity to work on projects such as school gardening and help in the production of pharmaceutical and other chemical products. All trainees who have successfully completed their training program will be awarded the ITC diplôme and the Agrotropolis Institute Diploma in Agricultural Technology (AIT), which will be internationally recognized in the industry.

History

The concept of a training center for developing the national agriculture and horticulture industry was first presented in the early 1960s by the late Dr. Guy Coega, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Frégate Island. Agrotropolis was established in 1980, and the first group of trainees started training in April that year. The center was established under the management of the then Ministry of National Education and Transport (MINE), which directed the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and the Royal Botanic Gardens and Agricultural Experiment Station (RBGAS).

The concept for Agrotropolis was developed by William Sheail, then director of the MINE, and Jacques Bernard, former head of the MINE, together with Dr. Guy Coega, former director of the RBGAS.

Prior to the Agrotropolis program, agricultural training in the Seychelles was limited to government workers at the Ministry of Agriculture, the school and technical college level, and few private sector training programs. There was no agricultural training for the general public.

At the time of the establishment of the Agrotropolis program, agricultural training in the Seychelles, as in other countries, was being incorporated into the agricultural courses provided by technical college systems in the 1960s and 1970s. However, the emphasis in this training was shifting from agricultural production to agricultural marketing and allied services. Agrotropolis changed the approach to training in the industry and shifted the focus of the agricultural sector to teaching people how to handle the agro-industry rather than just instructing people on how to produce it.

Major challenges

Prior to the Agrotropolis program, Seychelles Agricultural Training was primarily provided through the RBGAS, which was operated by the MINE at the time. This led to numerous issues that restricted the number of trainees and meant that the agricultural sector was mostly inaccessible


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