iAGRI Seminar Series

Participants including Lucy Chove following the seminar by Prof. Petronella Saidi of the University of Zimbabwe

During the month of December, iAGRI welcomed student supervisors from several of our partner universities to conduct seminars showcasing their current research. The seminar series is one of the delivery methods achieving short-term training to address knowledge gaps and share information on new and ongoing research among iAGRI key stakeholders and students. Supervisors participate in the fieldwork of students during their visit to Tanzania in addition to providing a seminar to students, staff and researchers based at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA). The seminars demonstrate the range of disciplines pursued by iAGRI students. Topics ranged from the dairy industry in Zimbabwe, microbial food safety, biogas in East Africa and land tenure in Malawi.

Prof. Petronella Tapiwa Saidi of the University of Zimbabwe provided a seminar on An Overview of the Dairy Industry. Dr. Petronella Saidi is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Animal Science, is supervising the work of iAGRI student Neema Mboya. Dr. Ilic Sanja of Ohio State University presented a lecture on her current work on Listeria Monocytogenes in Fresh Tomato covering her research on tomatoes and outbreaks of foodborne disease. Dr. Illic Sanja is a Professor of Human Sciences and Human Nutrition at the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State University. Her seminar was in the form of a guest lecture for the MSc in Human Nutrition program at Sokoine University. Prof. Sonja is the advisor of iAGRI-funded MSc student, Joan Msuya.

Dr. Ellene Kebede of Tuskegee University gave a lecture on The Potential Impact of Biogas Production on Crop Production and Household Income in East Africa, providing an overview of ongoing research using household model compared with scenarios of crop yield increases attributed to the use of bioslurry. Dr. Kebede is the advisor of Godebertha Rugazia, an MSc student based at the Tuskegee University.

Prof. Charity Chonde of Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources presented a lecture on Land Ownership Security and Investment Incentives in a Matrilineal Social System in Malawi. Her lecture focused on data collection, allocation of resources and perceptions of land ownership and security. Prof. Chonde supervises the work of iAGRI student Nicholaus S. Nchembi who is writing his dissertation on Factors Influencing the Continued Use of Improved Maize Seed Technology in Kilosa District, Tanzania. Nicholaus is pursuing an MSc in Rural Development and Extension. He remarked that “Whenever you need assistance, they are there,” referring to his close connection with his supervisor during his studies in Malawi.

The seminar series allows students to benefit from discussions on data collection and research methodologies from a number of disciplines. The seminars facilitate a multi-disciplinary exposure to advanced research currently conducted outside of their host universities and provides an opportunity to interact with internationally recognized experts in several fields.


Posted on

December 21, 2015