"As educators in Afghanistan’s universities work toward rebuilding teaching programs following 30 years of war and unrest, the need for additional training in Plant Pathology and other basic life sciences had been identified in surveys as a top priority. Practical applied information on identification of plant diseases and training in effective disease control measures are badly needed.
The purpose of this 2-week workshop was to model how introductory Plant Pathology is taught at a major US university in support of developing similar courses at universities in Afghanistan. The lectures covered basic plant pathology concepts and included applied information on control of diseases of wheat, fruit trees, vegetables and other crops. Participants included faculty from eight universities throughout Afghanistan and officials from the Ministry of Agriculture. Lab work was focused on disease diagnostics and basic laboratory techniques and safety.
At the end of the workshop participants were given a flash drive with a complete set of PowerPoint lectures, lecture notes, handouts, glossary of terms, laboratory manual and sample laboratory exercises. The libraries at each university represented also received an introductory plant pathology textbook and several additional reference books based on the major crops grown in their region.
The opportunity to participate in this training was made possible by the Advancing Afghan Agriculture Alliance (A-4) Program.
The A-4 program is funded by a $7 million grant from USAID and is led by Kevin McNamara in Ag. Economics."
-- Tom Creswell