From March 27 to April 1st, the NGO Dahari hosted students from Mvouni National Horticultural Centre for a week of field training. This training has been funded by the French Ambassy in the Comoros.
The Mvouni National Horticultural Centre (CNH) organized a study trip to Anjouan on innovation and sustainable agricultural techniques. From 27 March to 1 April, 30 undergraduate students and three teachers were guided by the NGO Dahari for field training.
For CNH, the aim of the exchange is to learn about the farming techniques and introduce students to the farming profession. The trip was organized in Anjouan because Dahari is well equipped to demonstrate innovative farming techniques and their application in the field.
“These five days of practice have allowed us to complete the theoretical training that students received. The students are very satisfied; they could see concrete applications of everything they have learned in class. I know they will not forget what they have seen during this week. In addition, they understood that farming is a real job and that they can earn a living through agriculture” said the trainer, Mr. Ben Attoumane Hamza.
For Dahari, the visit offers an opportunity to show the technical innovations developed with CIRAD and implemented with funding from the European Union and the Franco-Comorian Program for Co-Development.
The programme of the exchange visit comprised a tour of the island, from Mutsamudu to Bimbini, with stops in Salamani, Adda, Outsa, Moya and Nindri. In each training venue, the tour was divided into three parts: the discovery of the region and its particular agricultural production conditions, a discussion phase with producers, and the application of techniques through practical work in plots. A workshop was held in the village of Salamani to show the trainees all elements of the agricultural extension program organized by Dahari in partnership with the Regional Centre for Economic Development (CRDE) of Salamani / Nganzalé.
Students were shown the following techniques : effective water management, anti-erosion techniques, permaculture, ensiling, crop propagation, early market gardening, agriculture-breeding integration, and planting onions from bulbs. They practised agricultural work such as building a cattle park, planting onion bulbs, preparing soil for permaculture, and building anti-erosion lines.
The programme has been given the approval of the students. We have selected some of their reactions.
Erchad Chinoua, 1st year student : « We have gained experience. In class, the formation is very theoretical. During this week in the field, we have seen a lot of practical work which has helped us to better understand what we’ve seen in class. Dahari is doing good work in the field. I can see that farmers are now aware that they can improve their yields and make a living for their families. We hope that Dahari will expand to support farmers on the island of Ngazidja too. »
Aminata Ali Boina : « I have been impressed by the island of Anjouan, which is very mountanous. It is very different from Grande Comore. They have lot of rivers in Anjouan. The famers that we met don’t use chemical products, they try to grow biological products, which is good, I like their approach. I can also see that anjouanese farmers earn money for a living, but not easily, they suffer a lot. In Outsa, we all saw that life is very hard. I congratulate the anjouanese farmers and I wish them luck with their endeavours. »
Mmadi Saadi, president of the student cooperative : « The anjouanese were very welcoming. We want to thank Dahari for their involvement and the French Ambassy for funding the field trip. For me, this trip was a win-win process. We discovered new techniques, such as planting onions from bulbs and building a cattle park. But we also showed techniques to the farmers, such as sugar cane propagation and banana tree propagation using a new technique. I think that everyone learnt a lot during the training trip. »