Seminar on Economics of Rural Development - Education for Rural People

11 October 2011
Ca' Foscari University
San Giobbe Cannaregio

Department of Economics Venice, Italy

The University of Ca'Foscari of Venice invited the FAO ERP coordinator to a seminar organized in Venezia to share knowledge and experiences with a view of exploring possibilities of cooperation on Higher Education, Rural Development and Agriculture. In this context the FAO officer was also invited to present the FAO 2009 book "Education for Rural People: the role of education, training and capacity development in poverty reduction and food security".

1) About one hundred people attended the workshop and actively intervened to learn more about the capacity development concept and its relation with education and training for rural people, the relation between rural and human development as well as FAO and other UN agencies work. Several interveners contributed by mentioning their research and field experience on related issues. The seminar attracted a public pertaining to different faculties of the Venice University. The public was composed by PHD students, professors and researchers that came from very different backgrounds such as economics and rural development, demography, labour market, wealth, and contributed to shaping a rich interdisciplinary dialogue on capacity development for food security The power point presentation is divided in two parts: the first one introduces to the public the Rome Based Agencies mission and work on rural development and food security, and their cooperation. The second part focuses on an updated version of the ppt of the 2009 FAO ERP book, prepared for the G8. The power point presentation is periodically updated on the basis of the feedback received from the public during the previous seminars. This process, undertaken by the two authors of the book, is meant to provide part of the knowledge basis for a possible new concept paper taking stock of the inputs of different groups of stakeholders in and outside FAO

29 The mission identified, in cooperation with relevant academic staff of the University of Ca’ Foscari of Venice, the following potential areas for starting a dialogue with the FAO officers - through the Inter-Departmental Task Group on Training for Technicians for Capacity Development (TGTTCD) - and possible future cooperation:
• Economics of Rural Development;
• Agricultural markets and firms
• Economics of rural firms
• Economics and management of rural and agro industrial firms
• Sustainable tourism with particular focus on fishing tourism in developing countries
These areas correspond to the international degree and master courses in Economics run by the Associated Professor Bruna Zolin - at the Ca Foscari University Department of Economics in its siege in Venice and in Portogruaro – as well as to her main areas of research. These are, in addition to the topics already mentioned, among others, issues relevant to the FAO mission and specifically: sustainable development; development cooperation; and geographic information systems. Professor Zolin expressed strong interest in liaising with FAO officers working on the areas of common interest, to explore possibilities of academic and research cooperation. She expressed the wish to invite specific FAO experts in future relevant academic courses
The areas indicated above reflect also the interest of cooperating with FAO of Mr. Francesco Vallerani, professor of Geography, which research focuses, among other issues, on Sustainable Tourism in Developing Countries, including a project of Fishing Tourism (“Pesca-Turismo”) in Guinea Bissau

3) The University of Ca Foscari has joined ERP as a new member. The Rector, Professor Carlo Carraro, of the University of Ca’ Foscari, signed in person the membership of to FAO led ERP Partnership with the intent -as explained .by Professor Zolin - to indicate how important the University considers the cooperation with FAO and ERP and the wish to see this cooperation developing in the near future. The University of Ca’ Foscari is ERP member number 402

(4) It was agreed that the ERP Partnership will include in the ERP tool kit the learning material produced by the University

5) The possibility of organizing a 2011 joint workshop at FAO was discussed