Twenty-five agriculture extension officers and trainers from nine African and Asian countries learnt about the latest in agriculture practices, agribusiness, food safety and Smart Food during the recently concluded 42nd Feed the Future India Triangular Training program (FTFITT).
Following multiple sessions covering about 36 topics over two weeks, the participants said the key takeaways from the FTFITT program, ‘Good Agriculture Practices for Sustainable Agriculture in Developing Countries’, were the solutions to problems in food production faced in their home countries.
“Aflatoxin contamination of foods is a big challenge in Kenya. Owing to lack of awareness about grain drying, storage and testing soil, the toxin is taking a toll on human health. At ICRISAT, we were shown how the crop can be dried without touching the soil and the extent to which the grain should be dried. We also learnt about proper storage,” four participants from Kenya said when asked about learnings from the workshop.
The training program was held at ICRISAT, Hyderabad, in collaboration with National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), Hyderabad.
FTFITT is a collaborative program of USAID, India, and the Government of India, represented by MANAGE, Hyderabad. It aims at building the capacity of public and private functionaries in agriculture and allied sectors of 17 partner Asian and African countries in emerging areas of agriculture development.
The 42nd program saw participants from Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Kenya, Mozambique, Liberia, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Uganda. Resource persons from ICRISAT, CIMMYT, IRRI, ILRI, World Veg and PJSTAU trained the participants. The sessions focused on sustainable agricultural practices both in agriculture and allied sector including vegetable cultivation. Visits to National Institute of Plant Health Management, ICAR-Indian Institute Millets Research, ICAR-Indian Institute Oilseeds Research, MANAGE, ICAR- Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture in addition to ICRISAT’s Adarsha watershed in Kothapally were made.
Participants also learnt about the latest in agribusiness at the Agribusiness and Innovation Platform (AIP). Exposure visits to the Charles Renard Analytical Laboratory, Genebank and Farm Engineering Services helped provide an overview of agricultural practices in vogue.
Dr Peter Carberry, Director General, said during the program’s inaugural that it is an opportunity for both Asia and Africa to share experiences. Ms Joanna Kane-Potaka, Assistant Director General, External Relations, spoke about the Smart food program and announced the selection of a Smart Food correspondent for Kenya from the group.
Dr Pooran Gaur, Research Program Director, Asia, discussed climate resilient varieties for sustainable agriculture, emphasizing pulses cultivation. Dr Sreenath Dixit, Head, ICRISAT Development Centre shared the experience of scaling-up research innovations in India.
Ms Jayalakshmi, Director General, MANAGE, handed the course completion certificates to the participants during the valedictory session. Dr Mahantesh Shirur, Deputy Director General, MANAGE, said the evaluation tests of the participants showed that the program contributed to a significant knowledge generation among the participants.
Drs A H Anantha, Senior Scientist, IDC, and D Kumara Charyulu, Senior Scientist, MIND, coordinated the program during 11–25 February, 2020, at ICRISAT, Hyderabad.