ISFM TRAINING SEMINAR, THE WAY FORWARD
The University of Dschang through the Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences on the 21st and 22nd of July 2015, opened its doors to a training seminar at the International conference House, GIE under the theme: Integrated Soil Management for food Security: matching capacities in Anglophone West African Nation HEIs with local needs. The two day seminar which brought together university lecturers from within and abroad, farmers, students and stakeholders was aimed at suggesting solutions to famine and improving soil fertility which can boost food production in Africa. Representing the Dean of the Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences, Mr. Boukong Alexis, while opening the session, welcomed the participants and called on them to take the seminar seriously given the fact that Africa remains one of the continent most affected by malnutrition.
Prof. Oben Tabi Fritz, Assistant Professor, Department of Soil Sciences and one of the brains behind the project, enlightened the participants on the raison d'être and objectives of the seminar. He emphasized the predominant role of food production by farmers which has been capital to the birth of the project. The project is in partnership with Spain and 5 African Universities (Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, university in Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Cameroon (University of Dschang). It is funded by the EU, ACP group of states under the programme EDU-LINK. The objective of the seminar is aimed at fostering capacity building and regional integral Soil fertility management (ISFM) for food security in Anglophone African Universities. Enhancing regional networking in ISFM focused on food security by setting up regional network of centers of excellence, developing targeted food production. As activities accompanying the objectives, Prof Oben stated, the training of trainers and students in integrated soil fertility Management, fostering cooperation, raising awareness and promoting its application in smallholder farmers, production and circulation of newsletters and increase knowledge on integrated soil Management.
The training seminar involves presentations on the principles and practice of ISFM, role of agro-forestry, Economics of soil fertility management among other topics. The event continues on the 22nd with an exchange session with farmers and stakeholders on the field to better boost food production with minimum cost. /GC