27 Oct, 2018

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The visitors at the Agriculture Engineering Department field during the excursion
LUANAR’s Agriculture Engineering (AGE) Department and Government of Malawi through its Department of Irrigation in collaboration with Miyagi Prefectural Government and Miyagi University in Japan are implementing a project called “Irrigation Engineer Capacity Building Project for Sustainably Utilizing Agriculture Water Management Technologies in The Republic of MALAWI,” in a JICA partnership program.

On Tuesday 23rd October 2018, the Department welcomed visitors from the Department of Irrigation, Miyagi Prefectural Government and University who came to monitor and discuss progress of the project.

In his welcoming remarks, Dean of Faculty of Agriculture Dr. Patsani Kumambala, said the partnership between the two universities has benefit LUANAR a lot.

“This partnership has helped us a lot in terms of human resource development. We have had members of staff who have traveled to Miyagi for trainings. These have really amassed quite experience from Miyagi University.” He said.

The Dean went further to say that they have rolled out a postgraduate degree programme and therefore they are expecting to collaborate with staff of Miyagi of Miyagi University in research as well as supervising students’ research projects.

So far, four members of staff and a Master of Science student have travelled to Japan since 2015 for training organized by the Miyagi Prefectural Government and Miyagi University. The training equipped the members of staff with new skills and knowledge especially on new innovative engineering procedures e.g. using drones to conduct topographic surveys and new engineering softwares.

The Department, since 2015, has been receiving various pieces of equipment that has helped in enhancing teaching and learning of engineering students. Head of Agriculture Engineering Department, Dr. Grivin Chipula said he is looking forward to more support from Miyagi University as the equipment is directly used by students.

“We always appreciate the support you give to the department and I can assure you that we take a very good care of the equipment. Surveying will always need equipment and if there will be a chance of more equipment; we will gladly receive the equipment,” said Dr. Chipula.

This year, visitors promised more support to the department in various aspects. During the visit, the team, led by Mr. Toshiro Ishigaki, toured the department field where and advanced irrigation system is being installed.

LUANAR and the Miyagi Prefectural Government have been in this relation since 2015, and each year, LUANAR sends a member of staff or an MSc student to Japan for the training. This person goes together with three more people from the Malawi Government’s Department of Irrigation for the training. Similarly, a team from Miyagi Prefectural Government also comes to Malawi for monitoring visits each year.