AMU, ETH Zurich, KU Leuven students’ research ‘field work’ begins

The collaborative research program of Master students between Arba Minch University, ETH Zurich, Switzerland and KU Leuven, Belgium saw convergence of 52 students at Main Campus, for orientation to kick-start ‘field work’ that began from 7th to 18th November, 2017, at seven sites in Gamo Gafa zone; all three groups presented their specific proposals for the same. Click here to see the Pictures.

AMU President, Dr Damtew Darza, lauding this joint endeavor, said it will benefit students of participating universities and cement global ties. The purpose of this field work is to characterize agro-ecological niche, assess resource management, analyze food security and marketing aspects do matches with Ethiopian government’s national development agenda. He also gave a lowdown on AMU and invited visiting dignitaries to be the part of this meaningful phenomenon in Ethiopia.

The overall Flemish Coordinator of the program, Dr Jan Diels, at the outset said, this field work will help students to learn field technique in characterizing ecological, agricultural and social system so that what sustainable livelihood will be apt for community will be ascertained.

It will help students to imbibe team spirit as they move in seven designated locations in Gamo Gafa zone i.e. Chencha, Gerese, Dorze, Mirab Abaya, Lante, Chano and Shelle.

The program began with Research Directorate Director, Dr Simon Shibru, giving outlines of the field work, modus operandi and other required suggestions to the students. The pool of 52 Master students comprised of three universities i.e. AMU, 18, ETH Zurich 6, and KU Leuven 28.

The first proposal came from one of AMU team members that talked about demographic, socio-economic characteristics of study areas, study design and modalities. In the discussion that ensued issues like rationale behind site selection, food security and food safety-net were deliberated upon.

The second presentation from well-oiled KU Leuven team, which focusing on sustainable livelihood, accentuated key components like economic vulnerability, geology, climatic variability, soil, bio-diversity and eco-system, trends of land use, economic development, population and ethnic diversity.

Later in the discussion, the Flemish team was told to be cautious on land use in Ethiopia and asked to use authentic data, rather than taking recourse to internet; they were also asked to incorporate study design in the proposal, etc.

ETH Zurich team, trained their focus on understanding people’s livelihood and different factors impacting it. They intended to use research tools to ascertain families’ livelihood, study human, natural and financial capitals and issue of food security, etc.

Academicians while whetting the proposal found ‘land use and land cover’ component was missing; hence, they were also told to include hydrology aspect, take careful view of livestock scenario and data collection methodology need to be in place.

Dr Dereje Tsegaye apprised the students with itinerary; AMU officials, researchers and others were in attendance. Next day, field work began from Chencha and other six sites will be covered in the following days.


(Corporate Communication Directorate)