ACAI capacity building for partners: Nigeria and Tanzania NARS training on data management
The African Cassava Agronomy Initiative (ACAI) has started a series of data management training for staff members from the national agricultural research system (NARS), in the project target countries. The NARS staff from Nigeria and Tanzania are being trained on data collection using the ODK suite tool, data analysis in R, and geospatial information system (GIS) methods and approaches using ArcGIS and QGIS software.
The training participants are drawn from the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) and the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), both in Nigeria as well as the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) and Zanzibar Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI).
ACAI Project Coordinator and Senior Agronomist, Pieter Pypers, anchored the first training session held in early March 2019. Pypers conducted training for the NARS partners on digital data collection covering effective agronomy research and database management.
IITA Data Scientist Meklit Chernet led the second session of the training for the partners on data analysis using R software. In April 2019, IITA GIS Specialist, Tunrayo Alabi gave the third session of the training on geospatial analysis using QGIS.
The training is part of the ACAI objective to build the capacity of the NARS for them to engage in transformative cassava agronomy research. The project has lined up nine virtual sessions to equip the NARS participants with necessary skills to handle, analyze, and interpret complex data using digital tools. In September, classroom training will be held in both countries to further advance the skills of the participants.
Dr Busari Mutiu, a senior lecturer in Soil Science and Land Management at FUNAAB, commended the ACAI leadership for the initiative which will diversify the NARS partners’ skillset beyond the project needs.
“These training are very well organized and will have a great deal of impact on the plans for the sustainability of the project. We find (the training) useful and satisfactory,” said Mutiu. The senior lecturer is also leading ACAI research activities in the South West of Nigeria.
The project together with the NARS partners will evaluate the progress of the training in the 3rd quarter of 2019. The evaluation will guide the team in developing further plans for in-depth detailed training for participants in 2020.