IGAD Sheikh Technical Veterinary
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A field Trip to Remember: Students from ISTVS visit Hergeisa Livestock market, traditional slaughterhouse, Dairy Farm and milk market

A field Trip to Remember: Students from ISTVS visit Hergeisa Livestock market, traditional slaughterhouse, Dairy Farm and milk market
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A field Trip to Remember: Students from ISTVS visit Hergeisa Livestock market, traditional slaughterhouse, Dairy Farm and milk market

By ChrispinusMutsami

On 24 September 2018, year two veterinary students together with their lecturers (Dr. Nuh Haji Abdi Camir and ChrispinusMutsami) plus the veterinary department laboratory technician (Ismail Ali Awale) left the campus to Hergeisa for a four-day academic field trip.

An academic field trip is one of the best tools that can be used to provide every student with invaluable real-world experiences.When students leave the classroom, they see the connections between what is happening at school and in the ‘real-world’. They begin to see that what they learn within the walls of the classroom can help them solve the problems they see in the world around them and can have a direct impact on who they become as people.In addition, students show increased empathy, tolerance and critical thinking skills when they go out for a field trip. Field trips and hands on learning make concepts more memorable and understandable by students.

ISTVS recognizes field trips as important moments in learning; a shared social experience that provides the opportunity for its students to encounter and explore novel things in an authentic setting. The college usually takes students to visit different areas along the livestock value chain in Somaliland.

Year two veterinary students visited Darburuk Tannery. They were welcomed by the manager Mr. EphrenFisishawho took them through all the processes of leather tanning. The manager informed the students that the factory processes hides and skins from sheep, goats, cows and camels respectively. It is one of the largest tanneries in the country.Leather is processed majorly for export to countries such as: Saudi Arabia, China and Taiwan.The main challenge faced by the factory is low quality skins and hides with many cuts from livestock farmers and slaughterhouses. The manager said they are trying to address the challenge through trainings and close monitoring of their supplies. Students engaged the manager through asking questions related to production and marketing of leather.

Figure 1: ISTVS Students being taken through leather processing at Darburuk Tannery

The students proceeded to Hargeisa, where they had an opportunity to visit Hergeisa livestock market. Students took part in antemortem examination for animals that were to be slaughtered that night at Mandeeqarbotoir. Through the guidance of Dr. Nuh Haji, students were able to isolate shoats that were not fit for slaughtering from healthy ones. This was an activity to prepare students for postmortem which was to happen at night. However, the night visitation to the slaughterhouse was in vain sincethere were no enough animals to undergo postmortem. Students were requested to go back the following night.The following night, students were allowed to carry out postmortem analysis. This was a great learning opportunity since they were able to apply the knowledge learnt in class.

Figure 2: Students carrying out antemortem before slaughter of animals

On 25th September 2018, students visited Hargesia market to interview livestock marketing agents about their roles, major livestock traded, sources of livestock, their perceptions on the current market infrastructure, modes of transport used, price determination and constraints faced. In addition, the students interviewed government officials to find out their roles. All the interviewed government officials were graduates from ISTVS. The visitation to Hergeisalivestock market was meant to introduce students to basic data collection techniques like observation and interviewingin addition understanding livestock market structure in Somaliland.

Figure 3: Students visited a dairy farm in Gebiley District, Somaliland

On 26thSeptember 2018, students travelled to Gebiley District where they visited Bullaale farm. They were welcomed by the farm manager Bullaale who took students around. The first stop was at camel dairy farm. He explained that his camels were under zero grazing as a result assuring him high milk production. The camels were fed on sorghum and alfalfa (lucerne). Livestock fodder in the farm was produced under irrigation. The manager also practiced apiculture (bee farming) and processed honey and wax which they sold in their farm shop. The last stop was in a crop farm where vegetables and fruits were beinggrown. He said,

“I started the farm when I was 21 years and a student just like you. I have never been employed. I therefore encourage you to use the skills you have to start something. Do not wait to be employed”- Mr. Bullaale -Farm manager, Bullaale farm.

On the same day, students visited Hergeisa milk market. It was clear that most of the milk traded was imported from Ethiopia. Boiling was used as a method of preservation. Students were also able to observe the milk handling methods used in the market with major emphasis on the hygiene. They also interviewed milk sellers andinquired about the pricing of milk in relation to seasons, market trends and market demand.

Figure 4: A visit to camel dairy farm in Gibiley District, Somaliland

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