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マラウイ・ブンダカレッジ訪問 【Visiting Malawi】

posted Dec 15, 2013, 9:16 PM by Yoshitaka Uchida Hokudai   [ updated Dec 15, 2013, 9:16 PM ]
After the conference at Uganda, I flew down to Malawi. I visited Malawi to make some new connections with local scientists there. I met a few great soil scientists from Bunda College of Agriculture. They helped me understanding the issues with regards to agriculture in Malawi. Also, they showed me their current experiments.
     I found that soil erosion is becoming a serious issue in Malawi. In Malawi, 80% of the rainfall occurs within 3.5 months. This means there are two distinct seasons in this country, dry and wet seasons. Soil erosion, or soil loss, occurs at the beginning of the wet season. A heavy rain washes away a large amount of soil from farms to rivers and lakes. This is a huge loss of resources for farmers but at the same time it potentially has a negative impact on water resources.
     There are number of methods can be used to protect soils from the erosion. If I have a chance in future, I would like to test some of the methods in Malawi to help the local farmers and also the environment. I also had a very good meeting with people at JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency). They are trying to promote the use of manure, which I think is wonderful thing to do.
     This trip to Africa was fascinating. I learnt so much about agriculture in Africa. It has long been my dream to visit this great continent not to see some wild animals (which I did) but also to help local farmers. However, I have to say during this visit, I was not helping farmers but rather I was learning from them. Next time when I come to Africa, I should be more prepared and I hope I can actually help the farmers.