By SOLDIER BURUKA of DAL
Highlands Agricultural College is the country’s premier agricultural training institution, having produced many agricultural graduates over the years.
The college, operated by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock has an important role to play in promoting human resources development in the agriculture sector and must be fully funded and resourced to carry out its role and functions effectively.
Since its establishment some 37 years ago in Mt Hagen, the college has also trained many Pacific island graduates.
It offers courses in post-certificate diploma in tropical agriculture, as well as short-term courses including certificate of attainment in agriculture (farming), certificate in agriculture, certificate of attainment in plantation operational skills, and certificate in in-service training (rice production).
Since 2007 the college has taken the initiative and re-introduced certificate courses in agriculture and agri-business management courses for farmers and school leavers.
These strategies are in line with the Government’s policies and plans including Vision 2050.
The college has the capacity to train up to 150 students annually.
However, the college is now facing a shortage of teaching staff and is seeking to recruit qualified personnel to fill in the vacant spots.
A number of long-serving staff have been retrenched and the college management wants interested people with relevant qualifications and skills in agriculture education and training to apply.
College acting principal Phillip Senat, whose position is also being advertised, confirmed that DAL was seeking suitable applicants to apply for the vacant positions which needed to be filled immediately.
He said applicants must have a minimum qualification of bachelor’s degree in agriculture or equivalent to qualify with two to three years teaching experience.
The vacant teaching positions include lecturers and senior lecturers in crops, livestock, management studies and rural engineering.
Other positions include senior training officer, co-ordinator, senior AMT officer and farm manager.
Senat took the opportunity to also pay tribute to six long serving officers namely Ablam Mawa, Any Yowano, Vela Koiari, Bernard Pahau, Robin Vogel and Karl Mondo for their commitment to the college.