IGAD Sheikh Technical Veterinary
School and Reference Centre (ISTVS)
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ISTVS agriculture training and demonstration farm

ISTVS agriculture training and demonstration farm
ISTVS
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ISTVS agriculture training and demonstration farm

Agriculture is known to many as impossible or difficult in dry regions because of unfertile soils, little to no rainfall amongst other reasons. Most people in these areas for instance north Somalia are skilled in raising animals and not farming crops. This does not mean that individuals in these areas hardly eat fruits and vegetables. They do. Mostly imported from Ethiopia and also south Somalia where crop farming is a success in some regions. Fruits and vegetables retail at relatively high prices and those who cannot afford to buy choose to do without the product forgetting that it is a vital source of a lot of nutrients, for instance potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C.

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How then can people in Dryland regions not only be skilled in raising animals but also in dryland farming techniques? ISTVS aims to address this issue by training students to be extension workers and agriculture economists. Using the knowledge and skill acquired, extension workers will train the farmers in the society on Dryland farming techniques for the profitable production of crops, with/ without irrigation of land with a low average or highly variable rainfall. Dry land farming could also help in mitigating drought as it builds upon knowledge of basic farming but carries out its practices in light of the significant probability that this year or next will be drought.

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One of the tools used to train the future extension specialists is through ISTVS demonstration farm, a platform to introduce farming expertise and which can be adopted by the local farmers. ISTVS has a technical team that train and ensure the demonstration farm is aligned with local conditions and needs. ISTVS agriculture students will now be empowered to get a hands-on training and share the knowledge with the neighbouring villages and the entire region the new techniques in crop farming that they acquired through this demonstration farm.

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As illustrated above, drip irrigation is used which is essential in this context because there is maximum use of the available water minimizing on the use of water, drip irrigation ensures maximum crop yield, improves seed germination, ensures no soil erosion amongst other benefits.

ISTVS endeavors, through the demonstration farm, to sensitize /enlighten the rural farmers (youth, women, and men) about changing their mindset as regards to improved farming methods to ensure sustainable rural livelihoods while ensuring environmental integrity.

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Mohamed Aden Guun - ISTVS IT and Data Manager

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