27 July 2018

Somalia Agricultural School Produces Its First Engineers

Somalia Agricultural School Produces Its First Engineers

The Somalia Applied Agricultural School, which was opened under the cooperation of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) and the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), produced its first Agricultural Engineers.

The Somali Agricultural School Project was launched in December 2012 under the cooperation of TİKA and IHH with the aim of preventing drought on the African continent, ensuring that Africans are aware of the richness they possess, and increasing their quality of life through sustainable agricultural activity. The project, which provided a short-term applied farmer training course between 2013 and 2015, started to provide education at the Anatolian Faculty of Agriculture in 2014.

Fifty students who registered as freshmen to the Faculty of Agriculture in 2014 completed their education and graduated as Agricultural Engineers this year.

Students graduated as experienced agricultural engineers by completing applied education together with the theoretical education they received at the Faculty of Agriculture; during their education, they also grew vegetables in greenhouses built on school property by TİKA and used agricultural tools and machines brought from Turkey through TİKA.

In the application garden of the Faculty of Agriculture, students tested out more than 150 kinds of vegetable seeds imported from Turkey. Several kinds of vegetables were introduced to the public of Somalia as a result of these trials.

Thanks to the project, vegetables such as cucumbers, Armenian cucumbers, varieties of pepper, arugula, purslane, parsley, melon, and eggplant took their places on Somalian tables for the first time.

Students who have graduated will spread out to different regions of Somalia and pass on the knowledge and experience they learned at the school to the people living in those regions. Somalian farmers will once again be introduced to modern agricultural production techniques that were on the verge of being forgotten due to long-lasting wars and internal conflicts.

The Republic of Turkey's Ambassador to Mogadishu Olgan Bekar, TİKA's Mogadishu Program Coordinator Galip Yılmaz, IHH's Vice President Hüseyin Oruç, IHH executives, representatives of the Somali Ministry of Education, representatives of the Somali Ministry of Agriculture, and executives and students of Zemzem University and other universities attended the graduation ceremony held on the campus of the Anatolian Faculty of Agriculture at Zemzem University located in the Mogadishu Tiredishu region.

In his speech in which he started off by expressing his gratitude to IHH and Zemzem University, the Republic of Turkey's Ambassador to Mogadishu Olgan Bekar said, "Zemzem University has established a bridge between agriculture and education, which constitutes the greatest wealth of Somalia, through the Faculty of Agriculture. Somalia's 8 million hectares of agricultural land is waiting to be used – in other words, it’s waiting for you. We believe that if Somalia is able to use its agricultural potential to the fullest, it could have the potential to feed East Africa all on its own. There is a long journey which awaits you all and there is much work that needs to be done. Turkey will always stand by your side and we will proceed together on this long journey."

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