Agri experts called to apply for integrated crop management online course

Photo Courtesy: Université de Neuchâtel “Chinyunyu Plant Clinic in Rufunsa district, Zambia.”

By George Munene

The Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) is calling for enrolment for individuals interested in courses in integrated crop management (ICM) solutions as part of three online programmes being run with the University of Neuchâtel in collaboration with partner institutions in Switzerland.

Upon successful course completion, they will obtain a Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) certificate.

Scientists, teachers, extension officers, policymakers, and post-graduate students are invited to enroll for any of three courses CAS certificate– each of which lasts for around nine months – teaching the essentials of integrated crop management. These courses promote the adoption of sound crop management principles.

ICM is an important part of sustainable agriculture and improves overall crop health with minimal impact on the environment.

Through good agricultural practice, it optimizes yield and profitability while taking into consideration pest management, soil care, seed selection, crop nutrition, water management, rural economics, landscape management, agricultural policy, and more.

Apply before deadline

Those who already hold a Bachelor’s degree, or have at least three years of professional experience in a related field, and want to further their knowledge of ICM, have until 2 July 2023 to apply for the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) awards.

University certification

CAS 1: ICM – Sustainable Production Practices serves as an introduction to ICM and proposes a framework and guidelines that are useful as a basis for ICM concept development and implementation.

The CAS 1 programme includes six topics, such as soil management, crop nutrition, integrated pest management, and water management.

CAS 2: ICM – Aspects of Implementation facilitates exchange between international participants as they explore diverse considerations that are important – but not always obvious – in the field of ICM implementation.

This course – structured around seven topics – addresses implementation issues that are crucial for the successful adoption of ICM practices by farming communities and for sustainable food production.

Topics include, for example, ‘Agricultural System Implementation,’ ‘Gender in Agriculture Programmes & Rural Advisory Services,’ and ‘Climate Change & Agriculture: Towards Climate-Smart Pest Management.’

CAS 3: ICM – Biological Control and Ecosystem Services provides a broader and deeper understanding of the options available to minimise the use of chemical pesticides, promote biodiversity and create more resilient agroecosystems.

Participants’ enhanced capacity to analyse interactions of beneficial species (e.g. natural enemies, pollinators) in agricultural landscapes will better prepare them for promoting nature-based solutions in various agricultural systems.

This course focuses on four modules, such as ‘Classical Biological Control’ and ‘Managing Landscapes.’

All three courses are fully online and will run from September 2023 to June 2024.

Those who successfully finish all three CAS-ICM courses will be able to receive a Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) on completion of an additional technical report.

For more information on the programme and how to apply, please visit the University of Neuchâtel website.

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