Helping women scientists to tackle global challenges like climate change
The Masters of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Integrated Crop Management (ICM) – a Plantwise-affiliated course delivered by CABI and the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland – is helping women scientists like Sylvia Misengo Tembo from Zambia to tackle the global challenges of climate change and crop pest migration.
Sylvia Misengo Tembo is a woman making a difference in science. In 2019, she graduated from the Masters of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Integrated Crop Management (ICM) – a Plantwise-affiliated course delivered by CABI and the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. She describes how the degree has given her career a boost and helped her tackle important global issues.
“In my country, pests have been made worse by climate change,” says Sylvia. “The MAS in ICM course has really helped me to understand climate adaptation.” As a Principal Technical Research Assistant at the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI), she describes the value of modules on soil health where she learnt how to prevent soil degradation and erosion as well as manage pest migrations that can result from climate change.
“Swarms of locusts recently arrived in Zambia. Now that I’ve taken the MAS in ICM course, I’m able to make proposals about how to tackle pests like locusts. This course has really brought change to my work. That I can write a proposal means that I’ve moved to a different level. Before the course, I was considered ‘junior’, but now my work is nothing like ‘junior’. With the MAS in ICM degree, I’m able to work at a managerial level.”
The course has given Sylvia practical knowledge to tackle other serious pests in Zambia like the tomato leaf miner, Tuta absoluta. “With research on different chemicals, we’ve really contained Tuta absoluta in
Zambia. We’re trying to emphasize ICM. Writing my thesis on Tuta absoluta was very helpful. This work opened my eyes as to how I can help train Plantwise plant doctors on other invasive pests.”
Sylvia also shares her knowledge with staff at ZARI. She gives presentations to colleagues about protecting maize crops against fall armyworm. “This course has changed the way I work with my colleagues. I’ve shared the information I gained from the MAS in ICM course with my colleagues and they’re applying it. In this way, the course benefits me and my colleagues,” she says.
As a woman working in science, Sylvia is keen to share her experience and passion for agriculture with others. “When I talk to girls and young women, I explain science as a hands-on experience. So, to any girls and women who are talented and have passion, I encourage them to look and find solutions to the problems we have in life, because when you look around, you realize that it’s science that solves problems.”
To date, 59 students have taken the MAS in ICM.
For more information about the MAS in ICM, go to www.cabi.org/publishing-products/mas-icm-course.
Sustainable Development Goals
Support development and prosperity by seeking out, organizing and making evidence based knowledge with those that need it.
Helping agricultural sector to supply sufficient, safe and nutritious food, embedded in a healthy and climate resilient landscape
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The Masters of Advanced Studies in Integrated Crop Management (MAS in ICM) course, coordinated by CABI and the University of Neuchâtel, now in its sixth year, celebrated the graduation of ten international students in November.
22nd December 2020