Monthly Archives: November 2012

Finding Solutions for Sustainable Agricultural Systems in Africa; The “EARTH MODEL”

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Students from African Universities Visit Earth University and Learn the Earth Model

Development of relevant research for sustainable agricultural systems is the ultimate goal of many development programs in Africa and other developing countries. As a learning point, the Earth University in Costa Rica has the “The Earth Model” which shapes its students as agents of change in agricultural research and development as they are trained to;

–      Have ethical values in research and development

–      Undertake entrepreneurship

–      Have social commitment (passion in their work)

–      Environmental consciousness.

–      More practical than theory based change agents

These traits are also desirable in African universities and young professionals, if Africa is to move a step ahead in agricultural development. Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture  (RUFORUM) made a bold step by letting 11 students from Makerere, Moi University, Chepkoilel College and Bunda College universities learn the Earth model in Costa Rica for 10 days (27th August – 8th September, 2012).

It was worth letting the students learn the Earth education model since they are all working and learning together with farmers in a Community Action Research Program (CARP) in their respective countries. In the CARP Fish Project (Malawi), its 4 students (Priscilla Nsandu, Lisungu Banda, Dalo Njera and Chimwemwe German) have improved their skills on how to learn together with fish farmers in Dowa and Mchinji. Students and fish farmers together are; testing best bet technologies (clear plastic sheeting of ponds, formulated feed, feeding trays, and improved fish strains), market analysis and organizational development for increased fish production and income.

If this model is applied in many African universities where learning is usually based on theory, it can help African universities to have competent graduates trained to support farmers and establish sustainable Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the agri-food value chains. The impacts of using the Earth Model are evident in Costa rica and other countries too by Earth students e.g. Margareth Divers brought solutions to sustainable horticulture production systems in her community in Haiti even before graduating.  Its time for Africa and other developing countries to eliminate the production of theory biased graduands who are less relevant to the industry and communities. Who can wish to work with an all theory graduand?


Dowa Fish Farmers Make Profits through Community Action Research Program (CARP)

Source: Malawi Broadcasting Coporation (MBC) – TV

Publish your Research in MJAF; No page Charges!


Malawi Journal of Aquaculture and Fisheries (MJAF) is a bi-annual journal by the Aquaculture and Fisheries Science Department in the Faculty of Environmental Sciences at Bunda College of Agriculture, University of Malawi. It is devoted to the study of Aquaculture and Fisheries in its broadest scope in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Africa and beyond. MJAF replaces a previous serial of Aqua-Fish Technical reports.


We are pleased to call for papers to be published in the third issue of the Malawi Journal of Aquaculture and Fisheries Science (MJAF). Get a copy of Guide to Authors (MJAF) and submit your manuscript by email to Previous issues also available here (MJAF-1ST ISSUE  MJAF-2ND ISSUE) and on our website


Or Send an email requesting for journal copies and guide to authors to:

GCARD2 and the Agribusiness Society of the University of the West Indies


From all accounts the Global Conference for Agricultural Research Development (GCARD) is set to truly have an impact on global agriculture at all levels in one way or another! The GCARD2 will focus on the ways to implement the tasks identified in the GCARD RoadMap with special attention to “Foresight and partnership for innovation and impact on small-holder livelihoods”. As a young professional in agriculture, being part of this experience is nothing less than spectacular. Similar to its well planned and executed marketing strategy, the organisers of the GCARD2 have emphasized three major thematic areas, which maps out the direction and expected outcome of the conference. They are:

  1. Foresight for impact – matching research priorities to future development needs
  2. Partnerships for impact
  3. Capacity development for impact

However when placing the GCARD2 into context, one wonders of the ground level impact the events of the conference…

View original post 498 more words


Universities of Eastern and Southern Africa have taken a bold step to shift from outreach to engagement in agricultural research, training and development – a timely response to current development trends in agricultural research and training needs of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa.

The universities under the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), a consortium of 29 universities in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, are running the second of its three training workshops at Bunda College from 5th-9th November, 2012. The workshop is aimed at imparting Action research skills to the 30 participants which include lecturers, students and their stakeholders. This workshop will also feed into Community Action Research Program (CARP) – Fish project which is working with 68 fish farmers for enhanced fish production and Marketing in Dowa and Mchinji Districts, Malawi.

The first workshop which took place from 30th July to 3rd August 2012 was aimed at aligning the universities teaching, research and outreach programs towards industry-responsive practice based on experiential Learning.

The three workshops have been planned and are being implemented by Bunda College, Moi university School of Agriculture and Biotechnology in Kenya, Makerere University in Uganda and the Wagengen University and Research Centre (WUR) in the Netherlands. The workshops facilitators are Dr Conny Almekinders from Wagengen University and Research Centre (WUR), the Netherlands and Dr Prossy Isubikalu from Makerere University, Uganda. This is one of the projects by RUFORUM that is supported by European Union (EU).

Blogpost by: Msekiwa Matsimbe, NEPAD Regional Fish Node

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