Project Iringa – Education in Sustainable Agriculture

Project concept

The project is based on the idea, proposed and shared by the Ruaha Catholic University of Iringa (RUCU), to implement a training structure capable of providing specialized agricultural education to prepare technicians for the management of plant and animal production and training in land management and environmental protection, or for a “Sustainable Agriculture”. The faculty of agriculture for the RUCU is now fully recognized at the ministerial level and is the second in the country.

However, the preparation of the Faculty includes the complete construction of classrooms, laboratories, libraries, administrative offices, dormitories and the acquisition of at least 50 ha of land suitable for an experimental station. This infrastructural endowment is currently only very partially available.

In addition to the physical infrastructure, the didactic structure of the courses must also be definitively approved by the academic authorities and government authorities. The State University of Brescia has expressed interest in supporting the RUCU for the definition of the didactic and training structure of the course.

The overall project proposed by the University of Brescia is divided into the creation of three different degree courses in the agricultural sector and as a first step [STEP1] there is the establishment of a higher education course in Agri-Business that will satisfy the need for suitable extension services to support small and medium-sized farmers who work mainly according to a cooperative system. The objective of this phase 1 is to train the first students while at the same time the new faculty is born and completed, also equipped with specialized laboratories.

The course will be hosted in the already built “Science park” of the RUCU and with the structures of the Tovini Foundation of Iringa, however it will be necessary to contribute to the completion and equipment of the specialized laboratories. These can then be easily transferred to the Faculty campus once built. It will also be possible to rent land for a small-scale experimental station. The State University of Brescia has expressed an interest in providing technical support for the lay-out of the course and contributing to the training of teaching and technical staff.

Financial support structure

The complete project requires large amounts of funds that can be obtained both directly from the University of Iringa and from national and international governmental and non-governmental institutions. Right now, the role of Rotary International for this project is to act as a catalyst for organizations and institutions to support the entire program and as a trigger for the project itself. Through a Global Grant project worth $ 125,000, with the collaboration of the University of Brescia and the support of the Tovini Foundation, an organization with a long experience in international cooperation, the overall project will be launched by activating phase 1 relating to the study in Agri-Business. In the extended document, the project comprehensively illustrates the educational project, the economic framework of the investments and the timetable for the entire project.

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