22 November 2016 – A graduation ceremony took place on 17 November 2016, in Interlaken, Switzerland, to mark the successful completion of the 2016 Masters of Advanced Studies in Integrated Crop Management (MAS in ICM) programme. The 12 agricultural professionals who participated in this year’s programme have gained valuable knowledge in sustainable crop management to apply back home and to help address important issues like food security.

Jointly coordinated by CABI and the University of Neuchâtel, the MAS in ICM programme aims to improve participants’ knowledge and skills in the area of Integrated Crop Management (ICM). Since its start in 2015, the programme has led to the successful training of 23 agricultural professionals from 14 developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Integrated Crop Management (ICM) entails the conservation and efficient utilisation of natural resources for crop production. As global food demand rises, it is important that food production systems are based on holistic agricultural practices that do not negatively impact the environment. The MAS in ICM aims to improve students’ understanding of the dynamic relationships between biological, environmental, land management and economic considerations which is needed for sustainable crop production.

During the ceremony, certificates were issued to the 12 agricultural professionals who participated in this year’s programme. Speaking at the event, Dr Ulrich Kuhlmann, CABI’s Executive Director, Global Operations, said, “Integrated Crop Management is a more holistic systems approach to crop production. The course focusses on managing crops in a profitable way but with respect to human health, the environment and local conditions. We hope to contribute to knowledge in the areas of food security, food safety, economically viable farming and ecologically responsible farming.”

Paul Musa, a course student who works with the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI) said, “The Masters programme has added to my knowledge. I enjoyed interacting with colleagues from different parts of the world as well as interacting with our lecturers.

Michael Kumah, another course student from Ghana, said, “I enjoyed every bit of the programme. The lecturers were very knowledgeable and approachable. Anytime we need support they were there to help us, especially when we were writing our thesis.”

The MAS in ICM course is supported by the Canton Jura, Plantwise and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. For more information visit the course website.

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