Online Certificate III in Production Horticulture

Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE, in partnership with Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses magazine, launch the accredited online Certificate III in Production Horticulture course at the forthcoming Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture, to be held in Abu Dhabi from 9-11 March 2015. By STEVEN CARRUTHERS

Hosted by the City of Abu Dhabi and in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture 2015 (GFIA2015) will present the world’s largest collection of sustainable agriculture solutions. The event will bring together the world’s brightest minds and showcase game-changing technologies that can change the way the world grows food forever.

One of the central aims of GFIA2015 is to deliver measurable impact through a cutting-edge conference and exhibition. The event sets out to create a dynamic environment where real solutions are demonstrated, where contacts between innovators and solution seekers are made, and where collaborations between innovators and peers are formed.

A key element to the success of sustainable food production is education services. With this in mind, Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses has partnered with Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE (GOTAFE) to offer a series of accredited online courses, accessible to all around the globe, to meet the growing needs of the horticulture industry. The first of these TAFE (Technical & Further Education) courses, a Certificate III in Production Horticulture, will be launched on 9 March in Abu Dhabi at GFIA2015. The course includes technical background and basic principles of production horticulturre and provides practical information relevant to new and experienced growers.

GOTAFE is the largest tertiary educational provider in Northern Victoria, Australia, delivering in excess of 12.2 million Student Contact Hours (SCHs) annually across 38 industry sub-sectors, including production horticulture, to more than 25,000 students. GOTAFE employs more than 500 staff located in 13 locations, and achieved an annual turnover of $110 million in 2013. With demand increasing for greenhouse horticulture training, GOTAFE is going global with the introduction of TAFE-certified online courses.

Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses is the recipient of Publishers Australia’s ‘Bell’ award for ‘Best Specialist Magazine’ (2000, 2001) and ‘Best Small Publisher (1998, 2000 and 2001). The magazine’s readership spans 142 countries and is an ideal platform to direct employers and growers to the new certified training program.
For more information about this and other GOTAFE training programs, visit the Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses booth in the Exhibition Zone, or go to:

GFIA2014_webGFIA program
The GFIA 2015 program includes a ‘Hosted Scientist Program’, convening 300 of the world’s best scientific minds from 71 countries to explore transformative solutions for addressing the challenge of global hunger against a backdrop of dwindling resources and climate change.

Organised under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arabs Emirates (UAE), Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, the scientific think tank brings together the world’s leading scientists in the field of sustainable agriculture, who will focus on the spectrum of climate smart agriculture.

In addition to exchanging perspectives with local experts on the future of food production, attendees will also have the opportunity to interact with 6000 sustainability experts pushing for change and looking for collaborations in the field of sustainable agriculture.

The highly interactive Hosted Scientist Program will include a scene-setting workshop on 9 March and a cross-disciplinary solutions event on 10 March. The program will additionally feature summaries of participants’ key research, which will then be compiled into a book by ADFCA.

Ahead of the event, Mohamed Jalal Al Rayssi, Chairman of the GFIA Organising Committee and also the Director of Communication & Community Service Division at ADFCA, said: “ADFCA has immense pride in organising such an international event, which reflexes the vision of the UAE leadership to bring in innovation in all walks of life especially in the strategic domains such as agriculture. With the year 2015 declared as the ‘Year Of Innovation’ by the President of UAE, HH. Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, we have decided to add much flavour to the forum, by diversifying its content and style, hoping to mark it as a milestone in the global journey for innovation in the agriculture sector”

While explaining this year’s highlights he said: “What’s interesting about the Hosted Scientist Program is that we are really tapping into the entire field of climate smart agriculture; anyone undertaking ground-breaking research in this arena is welcome to attend. Close to one billion people go to bed hungry every night—initiatives such as this are a significant step towards making a tangible difference and will accelerate the development of solutions that meet the world’s pressing challenges.”

GFIA - 35_webSome of the award-winning scientists taking part in the program include Dr Kathleen Merrigan, Executive Director of Sustainability at the George Washington University who was named among the “100 most influential people in the world” by Time magazine, and Dr Mushtaque Ahmed, Associate Professor Sultan Qaboos University Oman, who has published more than 150 scientific papers.

Since its launch in 2014, GFIA has received major attention for its commitment to challenging the way food is produced. Now, with the backing of 40 globally significant partners committed to using GFIA as a catalyst for change, GFIA 2015 will serve as one of the most influential events in the world for those seeking to contribute to the sustainable agriculture movement. The event will feature prominent speakers from global companies and organisations including McCain Continental, World Bank, Rockefeller Foundation, Plantagon, and the Committee on World Food Security.

GFIA 2015 centres on six main conferences that run in parallel at the event. More than 250 speakers in total will address a range of key issues critical to the future of global agriculture and food production in these streams:

• Global Climate-Smart Agriculture Summit—driven by the UN Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture, a major survey of technologies, techniques and creative directions to devise and implement climate-smart food productions systems

• Food losses and waste from prevention to valorisation – technologies, practices and policies to meet the challenges faced throughout the whole value chain

• Edible Cities: Building Resilience with Urban Agriculture—innovations and technologies for Creating Sustainable Climate Smart Food systems in the world’s urban areas

• ICT for Sustainable Agriculture—making the most of handheld computer power, big data and the connected world

• Non-conventional Water Use in Arid Climates—challenges and opportunities in extraction and production of water, saltwater agriculture, and reuse

• Innovation Program—the world’s greatest collection of creative and sustainable solutions to in sustainable agriculture. Following 450 submissions, the Steering Committee have picked the top 100 to appear at GFIA 2015; each presenter will have just 15 minutes to tell the audience why their innovation can help feed the world
In addition to the conferences and the accompanying exhibition, the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture includes:

• The NGO Pavilion—featuring NGOs, development agencies, and charitable foundations spearheading successful sustainable agriculture projects in Africa

• The Incubator Zone—presenting the most creative and the most promising innovations from smaller entrepreneurs

• Collaboration and Research Centre—showcasing 50+ research institutions

• Funding and Investment Centre—bringing together providers of finance for everything from smallholder farmers to innovators seeking investment.

A_GFIA - 42GFIA is sponsored by the Food Security Centre—Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Farmers Services Centre, Exeed Industries, and the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce & Industry. Organised with official support from the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water, the Forum will include a keynote speech by His Excellency Dr Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, UAE Minister of Environment and Water.

Other keynotes include John Kerry, US Secretary of State, who is a driving force behind the movement to link climate change and food production, who believes the adoption of climate-smart agriculture is the best way to help farmers and fishermen provide food to billions; and HRH Prince Charles, a pioneer of holistic, sustainable agriculture, who will address the crucial challenge of how we can produce food more sustainably . Both John Kerry and Prince Charles will deliver their keynotes by video address.

Find out more about GFIA at, join the LinkedIn group ‘Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture Network’, follow GFIA on   Ω

PH&G March 2015 / Issue 153