Education and Workforce

Evolution in Skills Required By Food Systems Transformation

Agricultural science and technology research and education systems must respond to emerging issues and develop recommendations to address climate change, population growth and land pressure, rapid urbanization and the resulting transformation of food systems. Local educational institutions are not well positioned to provide the skills required by domestic food system development or for effective participation in regional and global value chains. Developing countries must enhance their workforce development systems to future-proof their workforce or lose the opportunity to integrate successfully into the global economy. Solutions will require a multidisciplinary, systems approach.

Megatrend 3 has been divided into two objectives in Year 1 to address the skill that will be required to transform the food system:

  • Assess the current workforce development systems and the capacity to meet emerging needs, especially those identified in Megatrends 1 and 2 analyses, of the agri-food industry at local, regional, national and multinational levels.
  • Determine how to best apply the expertise of U.S. and in-country vocational, technical, and higher education institutions into human development, including forging new partnerships.


Both objectives will integrate a crosscutting focus on gender equity, capacity to adopt innovative technologies, and engagement with multi-disciplinary teams. A standardized process will be utilized for all objectives that will actively engage stakeholders, especially local producers, to establish local ownership. Background research and data acquisition for all objectives will be supported by the Decision Support and Informatics (DSI), will utilized prior knowledge identified within the USAID / HESN partners network, and will incorporate new and innovative theories and systems developed by the GCFSI team.


Workforce development of the agriculture sector is bonded to education and training in order to support food security. Improving human resources allows populations such as rural agricultural communities to develop sustainable farming systems and increase productivity.

The info-graphic below presents longitudinal data of employees in the agriculture sector and for primary and secondary levels of education among the population of Latin American and Caribbean countries. The interactive map shows the distribution of GDP, Market capitalization, and public spending on education.

Access to Agricultural Education and Training (AET) System

Access to Workforce Development