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FIELD TRIP, LINKING CLASSROOM THEORY TO PRACTICAL AGRICULTURE

FIELD TRIP, LINKING CLASSROOM THEORY TO PRACTICAL AGRICULTURE
by

FIELD TRIP, LINKING CLASSROOM THEORY TO PRACTICAL AGRICULTURE

By Kenneth Tembe and Mohamed Abdirahman

Field trip is one of the requirements for students under the department of dryland economics agriculture and natural resouces management (DEAM). The aim is to expose students to the field practical aspects to  supplement the theory taught in class. It is for this reason that year 3 and 4 students were granted a three days field trip to the western part of Somaliland where agricultural activities are largely undertaken. The three main areas visited during the field trip were the Kuwait school farm, Aborine field station and the Wajaale national farm.

VISIT TO KUWAIT SCHOOL

Students and staff were received well at the Kuwait school. The  school which is located in Hargeisa is show piece of  advanced technology in dryland farming ranging from greenhouses, water harveting techniques to a variety of crops and fruit trees. Cultivated crops include; cucumber, carrot, onion and pepper. On the other hand, fruit trees identified were; Pawpaw, oranges, lemon, dates and guava. Of the crops observed, tomato, cucuber and sweet melon are the main crops that generate more income. Learners were able to connect what they had learnt in class with the actual activities conducted onthe farm. Areas covered included soil and water conservationcrop pest and diseases as well as  agronomic practices.

 

Weed identification at Kuwait SchoolTomato Production at Kuwait School

VISIT TO ABORINE FIELD STATION

Seed forms the basis of successful crop production. Without quality seeds, other inputs such as labout fertilizer and good agronomic practices would be of no value. Aborine field station located in Arbaso plays the critical role of  seed bulking for different crops in Somaliland. Common crops cultivated in the field include seasame, sorghum, greengrams, cowpea, perl millet, finger millet, pegion pea, mung bean, groundnut maize and highland rice. Similarly, seed bulking of pasture is also undertaken in the station. The seeds are bulked, stored and later  distibuted to farmers. It was important to note that seeds of local crops  as well as those of improved varieties are bulked in the station. Students were taken through the seed production techniques of each crop while highliting the challenges faced.

Diversity of cereal crops at Aborine stationSorghum threshing machine

VISIT TO THE WAJAALE NATIONAL FARM

The Somaliland national farm whch sits on a 5400 ha  in size has in the recent past shown tremodeous achievement interms of crop production. Currently about 720 ha is divided into sections where wheat, sorghum and maize cultivation is undertaken. The farm which is funded by the government was setaside for cereal production with the purpose of meeting the national food and feed reserve.  This was called for due to the perrenial food shortages experienced in the country and  often exercebated by frequent drought. Students had the opportunity to be taken through the production, harvesting and  processing stages of cultivated cereal crops.

Cereal production and processing                          Turning of harvested sorghum during drying

 

The objectives of the trip were achieved and provided the hands on experience for the students. The curriculum of the DEAM programme is a blend of theory and practical lesson. The choice of the sites was in line with the qualities that make education at ISTVS unique. Offering quality education.

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