On 8 November 2021, a follow-up meeting was held between Department of Land Resource Management and Agricultural Technology(LARMAT) and Biovision Foundation (the sponsor of the AATC) . In attendance was Frank Eyhorn (CEO) and Fabian Kohler (Program Officer) both from Biovision. Representatives from the University of Nairobi (LARMAT/AATC) and NutriProduce were Prof. Richard Onwonga (Chairman, LARMAT) , Janeth Chepkemoi (Project Supervisor), and Noel Templer (logistics officer), respectively. The meeting rationale was to consult with the key training leads concerning the recently concluded Agro-ecology and Agro-biodiversity Training Course (AATC).
Three significant aspects that characterized the meeting were;
i) An update portion from the AATC 2021
ii) A review of the collaboration areas and possible new ventures, and
iii) Next steps and a discussion of the way forward.
In terms of the update, the activities undertaken during the training were highlighted, followed by a clip presentation from AATC 2021 students. Prof. Onwonga briefly introduced the University of Nairobi (UoN), significantly highlighting the University’s opportunities, and the department of LARMAT in particular, to host AATC. The Chairman further emphasized the University’s commitment to promoting sustainable production systems and training of next-level change makers.
The meeting yielded several significant recommendations and action points both from the donors and project leads. Some of the recommendations were a) upgrading AATC to a (post-graduate) Diploma course, b) collaboration with other like-minded universities at the national and regional levels, c) incubation of innovative projects and d) linking students to mentorship and internship programs, apprentice platforms, and practitioners. A framework for conceptualizing the synergies and drafting a case for implementation will form the basis for the next discussion.