R101 Recommendation concerning Vocational Training in Agriculture

Geneva, 26 giugno 1956

The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Thirty-ninth Session on 6 June 1956, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to vocational training in agriculture, which is the fourth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation,
adopts this twenty-sixth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and fifty-six, the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Vocational Training (Agriculture) Recommendation, 1956:
Whereas the International Labour Conference at its Third Session adopted the Vocational Education (Agriculture) Recommendation, 1921, which provides that each Member should endeavour to develop vocational agricultural education and in particular to make such education available to agricultural wage earners on the same conditions as to other persons engaged in agriculture,
Whereas the International Labour Conference has examined in considerable detail the question of vocational training in general, and has in particular adopted the Vocational Training Recommendation, 1939, and the Vocational Training (Adults) Recommendation, 1950,
Whereas the Permanent Agricultural Committee of the International Labour Organisation has studied the particular aspects of vocational training in agriculture and has made proposals concerning this subject,
Whereas the Members should establish or expand adequate systems of vocational training in agriculture,
The Conference recommends that each Member should apply the following provisions as rapidly as national conditions allow and report to the International Labour Office as requested by the Governing Body concerning the measures taken to give effect thereto.

I. Principles and Objectives of Training

1. In each country the public authorities, other appropriate bodies, or a combination of both, should ensure that vocational training in agriculture is provided and organised in an effective, rational, systematic and co-ordinated programme.
(1) The objectives of vocational training in agriculture should be clearly formulated in each country, reference being made to such points as the need for:
(a) imparting to farm men and women of different categories (unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers, managers, operators and farm housewives) the skills and knowledge necessary for the exercise of their profession, instilling in them a sense of the social importance of the work they are doing, and securing recognition by the public in general of the importance of agriculture as an occupation;
(b) more effective use of land and other natural resources, labour and capital in agriculture;
(c) conservation of soil and other natural resources essential to agriculture;
(d) increase of efficiency, production and yields in agriculture and improvement of the quality and preparation of agricultural products and of their appropriate processing on the farm with a view to facilitating their marketing, and in particular raising the level of nutrition;
(e) improvement of incomes, standards of living, employment opportunities, working conditions and prospects of advancement in agriculture as a contribution towards remedying the lack of balance between agriculture and other occupations in these respects;
(f) promotion of mechanisation, where appropriate, and of safety in farm work, and the lightening of tasks in agriculture, especially for women and children;
(g) achieving a proper balance in employment between agriculture and other branches of economic activity;
(h) providing appropriate vocational guidance for rural youth;
(i) encouraging, as appropriate, the entry of young persons into the various branches of agriculture in sufficient numbers;
(j) overcoming of problems of seasonal unemployment and of underemployment in agriculture;
(k) closing the gap between technical developments affecting agricultural production and their use in practice; and
(l) improvement of rural life generally and the promotion of greater satisfaction in agricultural work.
(2) To these ends training should cover instruction in adequate techniques and methods of work, the development of the capacity for judgement and, as may be appropriate, instruction in the planning of farm operations and the principles and practice of farm management; the training should be related progressively to the capacity of the farm population to absorb instruction, as determined, among other factors, by the level of social and economic development, and should be so organised that in the end the rural population may, as far as possible, receive an education and training equivalent, in quality if not in detailed content, to that received by the urban population.

II. Scope of Training

(1) The programme of vocational training in agriculture should cover the whole agricultural population without distinction as to race, religion, nationality or sex, and whatever the legal relation to the land, for example prospective and actual farmers and farm workers, including seasonal workers, farm women and workers in occupations closely related to agriculture.
(2) Where necessary, in the initial stages and in the underdeveloped countries, the programme may be limited in scope to the persons who can be most effectively reached and instructed by the staff available, and to the areas and categories of persons where the need for, and effects of, instruction will be greatest.
(3) In underdeveloped areas lacking training facilities one of the first steps should be the creation of a body of trained teachers and instructors who have an understanding of and sympathy for agricultural life, and who, wherever possible, have themselves had personal experience of farm life and work.
(4) Even where such trained teachers and instructors are not available all possible assistance should be given to the development of training facilities on farms or estates where the operator is adequately qualified to provide practical instruction.
(1) In underdeveloped countries literacy programmes should have a high priority. Vocational training should, in general, be preceded or accompanied by general education including the study of basic subjects, conforming to accepted standards in the country concerned. When vocational training is given within the school framework, it should not only be preceded but also be accompanied by general education.
(2) Where possible, programmes of vocational training in agriculture should include formal classroom instruction as well as related general subjects such as rural social studies.
5. In determining the content of the training course, account should be taken in particular of:
(a) the persons to be trained and the level of skill to be imparted;
(b) the agrarian structure, the degree of development reached in agriculture, and the type of agricultural production;
(c) trends in the rural employment market and the degree of, or need for, labour mobility;
(d) the social life, customs, habits and outlook of the agricultural community; and
(e) relevant aspects of national policy in broad outline.
(1) Where possible and appropriate, the vocational training provided for the agricultural population should include training in supplementary skills relating in particular to the making and repair of agricultural tools, the maintenance and simple repair of agricultural machinery, the processing of agricultural products, and the construction and maintenance of farm buildings. (2) In areas of actual or potential underemployment, consideration should be given, where possible and appropriate, to offering courses in rural and other crafts to persons of both sexes, in order to provide them with a means of supplementary or alternative employment.

III. Methods of Training

Pre-Vocational Training

7. Appropriate measures should be taken for achieving an equal standard in the level of education in rural and urban areas and for a common basis in that education. Teaching methods and, where appropriate, curricula in rural primary schools, should take account of the needs of rural areas and of the environment of rural children.
8. In order to give a sound, broadly based general education, to impart an appreciation of nature and to develop manual facility and the powers of observation, formal classroom instruction given in a system of primary schooling should be supplemented, where possible, by practical courses in the use of school gardens and in home crafts as a part of school work. This practical instruction should not unduly affect the courses and programmes of general education.
9. In the rural communities in underdeveloped areas, systems of fundamental education should be used to impart, in a co-ordinated programme, knowledge of improved techniques in agriculture and in such matters as rural industries, sanitation, health and dietary practices, child care, food preservation, housing, village organisation and communications. Special care should be taken to impart suitable training to the weaker sections of the agricultural population in underdeveloped countries, who practise primitive methods of agriculture and have a very low standard of life, particularly tribal people.

Agricultural Instruction in Secondary Schools

(1) Where appropriate, and where specifically vocational agricultural instruction is not provided in secondary schools, the agricultural instruction given should be of a general nature. In rural areas, this instruction should be adapted to national and local conditions. Where no agricultural teaching is given, provision should be made for the gradual introduction of such instruction in the curriculum of rural secondary schools. This instruction should not unduly affect the courses and programmes of general education.
(2) Where possible, this instruction should be supplemented by practical work on the school farm, on experimental farms or on other farms. Such work should be limited to teaching needs.

Agricultural Technical Schools

11. Provision should be made for agricultural technical schools giving training of adequate duration in farm skills, agricultural production and marketing, farm operations and management, and other appropriate subjects.
12. At the higher stages of development of a vocational training programme provision should be made for:
(a) schools or special divisions of schools open to persons of either sex, giving training in certain branches of agriculture;
(b) schools or special divisions of schools open to persons of either sex, giving training to a special category or categories of farm workers or in special types of skills required in agriculture;
(c) schools or special divisions of schools giving training in rural domestic economy.
13. Where possible and appropriate, agricultural technical schools should have a farm attached for the purposes of relating teaching to agricultural work and of giving a necessary amount of practical training. Where this is not possible, or where it is desirable to supplement such training, arrangements should be made for the necessary practical training on appropriate farms or experimental stations, it being understood that such training should be limited to that necessary for the instruction of the students.
14. In establishing agricultural technical schools, consideration should be given:
(a) particularly in countries of large farms and small density of population, to the advantages which derive from the provision of residential and semi-residential facilities;
(b) in sufficiently literate communities, to the organisation of correspondence courses and the use of the radio for remote farm workers, where possible in conjunction with attendance at supplementary courses at schools with residential facilities;
(c) to the use of audio-visual aids.

Courses of Shorter Duration

(1) Short courses, seasonal and evening courses and mobile courses should be considered as specially suitable:
(a) for encouraging sons and daughters of small farmers and farm workers who are employed on farm holdings to improve their professional and general knowledge;
(b) for instructing specialists or farmers and farm workers in improved or newly discovered techniques;
(c) for instructing particular categories of workers in specialised skills and methods, such as the cultivation of a particular crop, the care and feeding of animals, the maintenance and use of tools or machines, general maintenance work on the farm, and the fight against plant and animal diseases and pests.
(2) Such courses should be timed in accordance with local needs and should not be a substitute for longer courses where these are possible and desirable.

Training on the Farm

(1) Where necessary and appropriate, the public authorities, other appropriate bodies, or a combination of both, should organise the placement of trainees on selected agricultural units, particularly in order to complete the training of prospective farm operators and especially in areas where the standard of farming practice is relatively high; such training should generally be preceded by an adequate general education and should be related to the unit of agricultural operations characteristic of an area, whether this be the village, the large estate or plantation, the co-operative farm or group settlement, or the small or medium-sized holding.
(2) The unit on which training is given should be representative and selected with care, taking account, where appropriate, of the possibility of using an outside farm rather than the home farm. Training on the farm should, where possible, be supplemented by formal classroom instruction.

Extension Services

(1) Extension services should be established and expanded to the extent made possible by the level of development of each country, in order to carry the results of scientific research to farmers in a practical way and to bring the farmers' technical problems to the attention of the services concerned for solution.
(2) Farmers and farm organisations, including those of employers and workers, should be encouraged to develop extension programmes of their own, and, in any case, should be associated with the development and utilisation of official programmes and similar educational activities.
18. Considering that in underdeveloped countries simple and informal programmes of vocational training capable of expansion, both geographically and in content, are appropriate, it should be recognised that extension services have a particularly important part to play in the development of these programmes and in the implementation of agricultural development plans.
19. The extension services should, as appropriate, contribute along with other interested agencies to the development of programmes for youth, the organisation of agricultural clubs for young persons and programmes of home and community development.


(1) When agriculture is suitably organised and agricultural practices warrant it, consideration should be given to the provision of apprenticeship schemes.
(2) These schemes should be developed with particular reference to the needs of special branches of agriculture, regions and categories of workers, and carried out either at residential institutions or on farms approved in respect of the qualifications and abilities of the instructor or farmer.
(3) Arrangements concerning instruction in the branch of agriculture to which the apprentice aspires, the limitation of his tasks to those useful for his training, the provision of equipment and any obligation to attend training schools giving general and technical instruction, should be approved by the competent authority or authorities.
(4) The measures referred to in the preceding subparagraphs should be taken by means of laws or regulations, decisions of public bodies entrusted with the control of apprenticeship, collective agreements, a combination of the above methods, or, failing these, by other appropriate methods.
21. Representative organisations of employers and workers, where they exist, should be closely associated, on a basis of complete equality, with the elaboration, application in practice and supervision of the apprenticeship scheme.
(1) Apprenticeship should be open to suitably qualified candidates who have shown a clear desire to enter agriculture and who have or will have completed the period of obligatory schooling.
(2) Admittance to apprenticeship and apprenticeship programmes should be supervised by whatever machinery, statutory or otherwise, in the field of labour, agriculture or education, is considered most appropriate in the light of conditions existing in each country.
(3) In determining the number of trainees to be placed, consideration should be given to the number of experienced adult workers on the farm concerned in the interests both of the trainees and of the adult workers.
(4) Upon satisfactory completion of his apprenticeship the trainee should be considered as a skilled worker and should be so certified by the competent body.
(1) The conditions of employment of apprentices, whether prescribed by contract between the parties, collective agreement, legislation or otherwise, should include a clear statement of the respective duties of farmer and apprentice, the duration of the apprenticeship, the level of knowledge and skill to be acquired to ensure a good standard of husbandry, and any obligation there may be to attend training schools giving general and technical instruction. The statement should also provide that the duties required of the apprentice should be confined to those necessary for his training and that any conflicts which develop should be submitted to the competent body for settlement.
(2) Minimum rates of remuneration, increase of remuneration, hours of work, holidays, food and accommodation, insurance, and sickness and accident benefit provisions for apprentices, should be determined by legislation, by regulations issued by the competent authority, by arbitral award or collective agreement, or by decision of special bodies entrusted with this task.
(3) Representative organisations of employers and workers, where they exist, should be associated on an equal footing with the elaboration, application and supervision of the conditions of employment of apprentices.
(1) At lower levels of apprentice training an evaluation of progress should be made, stating the work performed, the duration of the apprenticeship and the level of skill reached generally and in particular types of work; this evaluation should be supplemented, where appropriate, by practical tests.
(2) At higher levels of apprentice training or where the programme is more developed, the satisfactory completion of apprenticeship should be ascertained by the competent body. In this respect, consideration should be given to a combination of practical and formal tests relating to general agriculture and to the special branch of agriculture to which the apprentice aspires.

Training for Teachers and Rural Leaders

(1) Any programme of training in agriculture should include, as a high priority, training of teachers and officials of services relating to agriculture and subsidiary occupations; such teachers and officials should, where possible, have personal experience of farm life and work.
(2) This process of training should be accelerated, where necessary, by such methods as--
(a) the creation of training establishments of appropriate types;
(b) the establishment of village development centres and of centres for demonstration and training;
(c) the provision of special short courses of training for graduates from higher agricultural institutions, such courses relating, where necessary, to problems of teaching and administration as well as to the technical content of their work, in order to prepare them better for giving vocational instruction adapted to the needs of agriculture and taking account of modern techniques.
26. In higher institutions agricultural teachers and instructors should--
(a) preferably have received university instruction or its equivalent;
(b) be enabled and encouraged to keep their knowledge up to date by such means as refresher courses and sabbatical leave.

Teaching Aids and Materials

27. The teaching aids and materials used in the vocational training programme should be prepared on the basis of the findings of research institutions and of other scientific information, and provision should be made for the systematic and orderly flow of adequate factual material to teachers and students.
(1) Since the teaching of agricultural subjects should be given with particular reference to regional and local conditions and problems, teaching aids and materials should be selected with regard to the economic structure of the areas where the trainee will work.
(2) When teaching materials and equipment are brought from other countries and regions they should be adequately adapted to local needs.
29. Especially in the early stages of training, in cases where there exists a group of countries with common characteristics and problems, consideration should be given to developing standardised teaching materials for such countries by direct consultation among them. In any case, free exchange of teaching materials should be encouraged.
30. Audio-visual aids, while they should not be a substitute for other teaching aids and methods, should, especially in communities where illiteracy is high, be given a prominent place in training programmes. The special advantages of the film-strip and slides should be borne in mind.

IV. Farm and Other Interested Organisations

31. Organisations of farmers, farm workers (including trade unions), farm women and farm youth, and other interested organisations, such as co-operative societies, should play an important role in all phases of agricultural training. Every encouragement should be offered them to take an active interest in improving such training.

V. National Action

(1) Responsibility for the training programmes should be entrusted to the authority or authorities capable of obtaining the best results and, in cases where the responsibility is entrusted to several authorities jointly, measures for ensuring co-ordination of the training programmes should be taken. Local authorities should collaborate in the development of the training programmes. Close collaboration should be maintained with organisations of employers and workers in agriculture and with other interested organisations, where such exist.
(2) A degree of co-ordination of private and public courses should be encouraged so that:
(a) a trainee makes orderly progress from one level to the other;
(b) subject to preserving the appropriate degree of uniformity in the training programmes, provision is made for the needs of different regions or branches of the occupation;
(c) agricultural research institutions, extension services and all training institutions may work in close co-operation.
(1) The competent bodies should progressively elaborate general standards, varying where necessary from one region to another, relating to such matters as: entry requirements for training for the different branches of agriculture; duration of training and length of courses; teaching material and textbooks; qualifications of teachers and their status as regards salary and working conditions; size of classes; curricula; examination requirements; and conditions under which training may be considered completed. Appropriate measures should be taken to consult representative organisations of farmers and farm workers, and other interested organisations, where such exist, in the formulation of these standards.
(2) At all stages private endeavour in initiating and administering training courses should be encouraged, and the application of the standards should be left to recognised training institutions supervised, as necessary and appropriate, by the appropriate bodies.
34. While local financial contributions to training programmes are, in many places, called for, the public authorities, to the extent considered appropriate and necessary, should also assist public and private training programmes in such ways as: making available financial contributions; contributing land, buildings, transport, equipment and teaching material; contributing through scholarships or otherwise to the living expenses or wages of trainees during the course of training, and making entry into residential agricultural schools free of charge to appropriately qualified trainees, especially those who cannot afford to pay for the training.
(1) The public authorities, other appropriate bodies, or a combination of both, should ensure that the vocational training programmes are co-ordinated with other public activities relating to agriculture. In particular they should ensure that the training programmes are established in the light of the long-term employment and settlement opportunities open to prospective agricultural workers, as determined, amongst other things, by the availability of land, agricultural credit and markets.
(2) The public authorities, other appropriate bodies, or a combination of both, should take all necessary practical measures to facilitate the placement of persons who have finished their training and to assist them in finding suitable farms or farm employment which corresponds to their training and skill.
36. The public authorities, other appropriate bodies, or a combination of both, should develop methods of evaluating the effectiveness of training programmes, for example in raising agricultural living standards and levels of production, and in achieving the objectives specified in Paragraph 2, and should take stock frequently of the progress achieved.

VI. International Action

(1) Where possible, especially among countries with similar agricultural conditions, international exchanges of farmers and farm workers, farm youth, agricultural teachers, research workers, experts and scientific agricultural literature should be encouraged.
(2) Where appropriate, international centres for research, and extension and vocational training in agriculture should be promoted as well as international meetings for agricultural research workers, extension agents and teachers in agricultural schools.

- R15 Recommendation concerning the Development of Technical Agricultural Education, 12 novembre 1921
- R57 Recommendation concerning Vocational Training, 27 giugno 1939
- R88 Recommendation concerning the Vocational Training of Adults including Disabled Persons, 30 giugno 1950

Fonte: ILO