Now in its fifth year, the Masters of Advanced Studies in Integrated Crop Management (MAS in ICM) course, coordinated by CABI and the University of Neuchâtel, celebrated the graduation of twelve more international students last month.
A ceremony was held during an Implementation Team Meeting for the CABI-led Plantwise programme in Engelberg, Switzerland and featured students from countries including Malawi, Sri Lanka, Mozambique and Myanmar. The event was attended by academics, colleagues in international development and Prof Peter Kropf, who is credited as one of the founding fathers of the MAS-ICM programme.
The MAS in ICM course is a post-graduate degree that prepares students to excel in their sector by supplying thorough instruction on the principles of good crop management – valuable knowledge and skills that graduates return home with to tackle global development issues like food security and make a lasting change. Topics studied on the interdisciplinary programme include: soil management, seed selection, cropping strategies, pest and landscape management, water management, statistics, national and regional agricultural policies and more.
Since the course started in 2015, it has trained 59 specialists in agriculture from 21 developing countries.
Speakers at the ceremony were Dr Ulrich Kuhlmann, CABI’s Executive Director of Global Operations, Dr Washington Otieno, Plantwise Programme Executive, Professor Ted Turlings, Vice-director of the Institute of Biology, University of Neuchâtel, and Professor Olivier Guillod, Vice Rector, Legal Affairs and Director of the Institute of Health Law, University of Neuchâtel.
Dr Kuhlmann, CABI’s Executive Director, Global Operations, congratulated the graduates and noted that previous MAS ICM students have continued to apply their knowledge to bring about positive changes to agricultural practices in their respective countries. Dr Kuhlmann said: “It’s really fascinating to hear about the next steps in the students’ careers after they finish the course. I’m looking forward to hearing about their achievements in the months and years to come.”
Dr Washington Otieno, Plantwise Programme Executive, in his speech remarked on the impact of the course: “This course is unique. Being based in Africa, I frequently meet former students in various meetings and they say this course has left an indelible mark in their minds. They value having participated in a course that they say is very practical and highly relevant to what they do.”
As a result of the course’s synergy with Plantwise, some of the students also had the opportunity to work with datasets collected by Plant Doctors in their countries; while other projects included technical crop production guidelines for a particular crop or a particular pest problem.
In his remarks Professor Olivier Guillod, Vice Rector, Legal Affairs and Director of the Institute of Health Law, University of Neuchâtel, spoke on the importance of a healthy population and the key role played by the MAS-ICM professionals. Professor Guillod said: “The health of a population is mainly determined by the socio-economic status of its people and by the environment in which they live. This socio-economic status also directly affects the way people eat and drink. Promoting sustainable agriculture is, therefore, crucial for the future of human health.”
The Masters of Advanced Studies in Integrated Crop Management is supported by the Canton of Jura, Plantwise and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Limited scholarship places are available. Find out more about the programme here.
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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.
22 December 2020