Ms. Rose Nyaboke Mingate attended a short term training on Soil Diagnosis Technology for Sustainable Agricultural Production and Environmental Conservation at the Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Japan. An interview was conducted with Ms. Rose Nyaboke Mingate on how the training has impacted on her activities as technologist at JKUAT’s Department of Horticulture and Food Security.
Mr. Patrick Juma and Mr. Martin Mburu, Research Fellows in AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project, had a chance to chat with her on her experience, achievements and expectations from the short term training. “I am so passionate about the soils” is what an elated Rose continues to preach to anyone who comes across her.
Mr. Juma & Mr. Mburu: What were the areas of training?
Ms. Mingate: The training involved analysis of nutrient levels, composting and soil borne diseases and their control between May and July 2016. During the training, special attention was given to soil profile surveys, determining levels of moisture content in soil and broadly chemical and physical properties of soil.
What did you like most about the training?
Most importantly, I liked the dedication with which the training was done, the staff and the other students I interacted with were helpful and resourceful. The other important thing I liked about the training is the efficiency in the laboratories in terms of areas such as equipment servicing and availability of the materials for conducting experiments. If we adapt how things are done in such laboratories, our institution will greatly improve the students’ skills.
What aspects of the training could be improved?
Sadly, the training time was too short! For example, each day we had a new concept to be learnt and a new group of scientists to interact with, hence there was limited time to internalize the previous activities. Another issue was difficulty in communication particularly with some of the students. But all in all, it is worth noting the training was very successful.
How do you hope to change your practice as result of the training?
I believe that knowledge of the soil chemical and physical properties, is the first step towards successful and sustainable agriculture. With the knowledge gained from the training, I have embarked on assisting Kenyan farmers with soil analysis and advice in terms of fertilizer application levels and soil health. Furthermore, the training has made me grow to become an effective and efficient technologist, both in guiding students at undergraduate and postgraduate level and Soil analysis on matters of soil chemistry and soil physics.