Capacity Building Events
Season-long Training of Trainers (TOT) courses:
Three full time season-long TOT courses were organized to train 86 extension officers from Plant Protection and Quarantine Directorate (PPQD) and General Extension Directorate of MAIL. The first TOT was on potato and rice, conducted from 11 June to 10 October 2011. 28 extension officers from seven northern provinces of Afghanistan such as Balkh, Bamyan, Baghlan, Takhar, Badakhsan, Faryab attended the training. For more about 1st TOT…
The second TOT was on wheat, melon, potato and rice, conducted in two phases, first phase from 27 November to 26 December 2011, and the second phase from 3 March to 10 June 2012 to avoid snowfall in January and February. 33 facilitators, mostly plant protection specialists and extension officers from 11 provinces of Afghanistan such as Balkh, Samangan, Bamyan, Baghlan, Takhar, Kunduz, Badakhsan, Faryab, Jawzjan, Sar-i-Pul and Herat attended the course. For more about 2nd TOT…
The third TOT was exclusively on rice, conducted from June to October 2012. 25 extension officers from PPQD and General Extension directorates of three eastern provinces of Afghanistan, such as Nengarhar, Laghman and Kunar attended the training. For more about the 3rd TOT…
Higher studies on IPM
Higher study programs are particularly targeted to develop subject matter specialists in various aspects of IPM for longer-term capacity building of MAIL. Plant protection, soil science and agronomy have been identified as the core subjects for higher studies, as these are the common and basic issues for any successful IPM program. Two years master degree programs have been considered for higher studies.
24 MAIL staff have been sent abroad for higher studies. They are pursuing M Sc. courses at two universities in India; three at Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU) in Coimbatore and 21 at Allahabad Agriculture Institute, also known as Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHIATS) in Allahabad.
In addition, a special short course on IPM was organized at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok, Thailand. 15 FFS Facilitators and Master Trainers, who have previously participated in the TOTs mentioned above, attended the course customised together by FAO and AIT based on specific needs of the group for further capacity building in IPM and FFS. The course conducted from 8 March -5 April 2013 was also an opportunity for the group to visit various IPM activities in Thailand and interact with other related agencies involved in research and extension.
Exposure trips to other IPM/FFS programs in the region
Three exposure trips were organized. The first trip was organized in 2010 to visit the IPM activities in Philippines. 6 senior level officers from MAIL including the Head of PPQD and the Head of the Directorate of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (DAIL), Mazar-e-Sharif participated in this trip, which was instrumental to provide these higher level officers at the initial stage of the program with an opportunity to see physically the prospects and potentials for IPM, based on the experience of IPM/FFS in Philippines for almost two decades.
The second exposure trip was organized for a group 12 Officers from MAIL to visit various IPM activities in Bangladesh, which has been implementing IPM for more than 20 years. The group includes the Director General of General Extension Directorate that time, 7 Facilitators and 3 Master trainers and a senior officer from PPQD Headquarters. The visit provided the team with an opportunity to interact with various levels of stakeholders including senior government officials, IPM facilitators, farmers and community leaders in Bangladesh. The visit was instrumental to observe the linkage between extension and plant protection activities, especially how they are planned and delivered to the communities in a coordinated manner in Bangladesh.
The third exposure trip was organized for 11 staff of MAIL including two project staff under FAO-pay-roll to visit IPM activities in Indonesia from where the revolutionary concept of Farmer Field School (FFS) emerged as an effective approach to translate IPM to farmers in a practical form. The visit was organized from 10-20 February 2013 which provided the team with an excellent opportunity to interact with various levels of stakeholders including senior government officials, facilitators, farmers and community leaders to learn and observe how nationwide IPM and FFS programs have been planned and managed by the government of Indonesia.
Review workshops and Refresher courses
Review of FFS progress at the end of each cropping season is a part of the process of learning and development of IPM.
At the end of each cropping season, facilitators are gathered for around one week period to assess the achievements and challenges of IPM/FFS.
The discussions and analysis of the achievement and challenges in the workshop lead to identification of specific areas for improvement. Accordingly, refresher courses are conducted to improve further the capacity of facilitators.
The review workshop is further an opportunity for sharing among the facilitators and validation of FFS data recorded earlier by the project. The lessons and learning drawn from the workshop for the past season provides a basis for planning for the next season of FFS. Since 2012 five review workshops and refresher courses have been organized.