The effects of climate change, depleted soils, disease and pest infestation and missing support are key challenges for smallholder farmers in East Africa. Awareness that a profound transformation of food systems is needed to solve these problems is also growing in many African countries. For this transformation to succeed, "change makers" are needed.
Since 2009, Biovision has therefore been supporting university agricultural seminars on agroecology in East Africa. They enable students from different disciplines to gain a more holistic, systemic view on environmental, agricultural and nutritional issues. While the venue and implementing university vary, all courses achieve the same effect: graduates know the challenges and opportunities of sustainable agriculture from theory and practice, understand interrelationships in food systems and take this experience with them on their professional careers.
For example, in the International Training Course on Organic Agriculture (ITCOA), 50 students from East African universities receive an in-depth insight into the diverse potentials of smallholder organic agriculture in a two-month intensive course that spans several countries. Building on the theoretical examination of ecological approaches, the students put their knowledge into practice within the framework of participatory investigations and field placements. In addition, the "Agroecology and Agrobiodiversity Training Course", which emerged from ITCOA, could take place in Kenya for the first time in 2021.
As part of a study in cooperation with GIZ, Biovision is investigating in 2022 which training formats similar to ITCOA or AATC already exist in African countries and how they can be better promoted.
Stories from the project
“Be prepared to get your hands dirty”
From the desk to the field: students at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, were able to experience first-hand what it means to do agriculture sustainably. The agroecology and agrobiodiversity training course (AATC), co-financed by Biovision, provides insight into the practical implementation of a sustainable food system.
ITCOA 2020: Hands-on training in Agroecology
Despite the pandemic and the resulting circumstances and travel restrictions, the popular International Training Course on Organic Agriculture could be held. The motivated alumi are now taking the newely gained knowledge back to their communities. Read more
The seminar on agriculture has more than inspired...
The successful seminar on organic farming (ITCOA) could also take place in 2020. We asked the participant Dendry a few questions about the ITCOA seminar, which the young woman gladly answered. Read More