Masters degree heralds next generation of agricultural experts
Purnima Chhetri belongs to the next generation of agricultural experts. One of 12 graduates of the Masters of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Integrated Crop Management (ICM), Purnima is ready to apply her education and help farmers in her home country of Nepal put sustainable agricultural best practice into action. Purnima says:
“My home country, Nepal, wants to increase agricultural exports. Through the MAS in ICM, I studied plant protection policies and the importance of aligning policies with international agreements to improve trade. I aim to implement my learnings in my job back in Nepal, sharing my knowledge with colleagues and friends.”
Coordinated by CABI and the University of Neuchâtel, the MAS in ICM is part of CABI’s vision for meeting SDG 4: Quality Education. This higher education degree aims to enhance the knowledge of students from around the world about sustainable agriculture and empower them to pass on that expertise to national institutions and
Purnima and fellow students from Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Zambia have learned how to help farmers in developing countries protect and increase crop yields, having studied modules that included examining soil management, crop nutrition and pest and landscape management, and are keen to put their knowledge into action.
MAS ICM graduate, Teresia Mbugua, from Kenya comments: “I can say that IPM is a great skill I have learnt from this course. It has opened my mind. I can’t wait to go back to my farmers and help them. My country will benefit from the fact that I’m now a better advocate for safe and profitable farming.”
MAS ICM graduate, Teresia Mbugua
CABI’s Executive Director, Global Operations, Dr Ulrich Kuhlmann, believes we will need an estimated 70% global increase in food production to try and feed a growing population expected to hit nine billion by 2050. This is a considerable challenge.
To address this, the Masters course aims to teach the next generation of crop experts the benefits of integrated crop management, an approach to sustainable agriculture that combines biological, environmental, land management, economic and social considerations. Now being run for the fourth time, the MAS in ICM opens for applications in June 2018.