“What’s Up with AEMIP?”
Ebola has had an impact on the project, slowing down what we have been able to accomplish through Train the Trainers assignments with the Institut Supérieur Agronomique et Vétérinaire (ISAV) faculty in Faranah. For around six months there was a ban on nonessential travel that our partner organization, Winrock International, had put into place based on guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO). The Faranah Prefecture (East of Kindia on the map shown) continues to be free of Ebola. A state of emergency (SOE) continues in Lower Guinea, with 7 prefectures are effected. The SOEs is soon to be lifted in all but one of the prefectures. Guinea has been running a comprehensive public health campaign to stop the spread of Ebola. During my assignment there (about a month ago), I observed billboards, fliers and radio messages about practices to avoid catching Ebola. All public buildings and most private businesses had hand-washing stations with chlorinated water.
Despite Ebola, Purdue and Winrock have accomplished much to date, including:
A recently completed the final report for an agricultural labor market survey undertaken summer and fall of 2014. This report provides recommendations on ag labor market trends, and what institutions need to provide students to prepare them for agricultural jobs in the formal sector. The report was presented at a forum with government and industry representatives at the beginning of 2015.
Phase one of a weather station has been constructed and all equipment installed on the selected site at ISAV. Selected ISAV faculty have been trained and are collecting data on weather. Two Purdue faculty from Agronomy, Drs. Cliff Johnston and Richard Grant, provided training to faculty February 2014, and will return in June of this year to provide follow-on training.
Dr. Jess Lowenberg-Deboer provided two trainings on preparing research grant proposals, and managing research projects. This training supports a research grants component of the project.
Dr. Jerry Peters will provide training on agricultural extension methods. This will include also participatory pedagogies for the classroom. These tools are essential to promote critical thinking capacity in students.
IPIA’s International Extension Programs Coordinator, Andrea Burniske, provided training on integration of gender considerations in climate change adaptation. During this training faculty and students learned to apply tools for gender integration in proposal develop, innovations, and in classroom curricula. They applied IFPRI’s Gendered Farming Practice mapping tool (http://www.ifpri.org/publication/putting-gender-map) with community members (see attached photo) to get information on the breakdown of farming responsibilities between males and females in various geographic locations of Guinea. The next step for this, upon completion of a web page for data entry and a database, is for ISAV faculty to work with the system of agricultural training centers to apply the survey around the country, enter this data, and develop a report of practices. This information, when overlaid with biophysical information about soils, water and other natural resources per region, is expected to form the basis for a climate change adaptation plan.
In response to donor opportunities to fund laboratories at ISAV, Purdue representatives worked with partners at the University of Maradi in Niger provided recommendations for equipping and setting up 9 laboratories.
In August, two teams are expected to provide planning and training assignments: Dr. Bill Hutzel, Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology, and graduate student Dave Lotz will assess needs and make recommendations to equip ISAV with solar energy power; and John Lumkes of agricultural engineering will team with a specialist in marketing innovations to develop some pilot projects for ISAV agricultural engineering.
AEMIP: Project Basic Information