Arba Minch University’s College of Agriculture presently situated at Nech Sar Campus will soon be moving to its new sprawling location at Boarding School of Regional Bureau off Arba Minch Airport road, its Dean Dr Nejib Mohammad informed.

College of Agriculture that had its beginning at Main Campus from 2008 to 2010 has been operating from Nech Sar Campus since 2011. The prime reason to shift is due to lack of space for demonstration and research activities for students and staff, Dr Nejib adds.

‘‘The new campus with 14.5 hectares of area was belonged to Boarding School of Regional Bureau (South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region) meant for the children of pastoral society. But few decades back, the said land was owned by Institute of Technology,’’ Dr Nejib maintained.

This huge land with existing structures now has been transferred to Arba Minch University after a mutual understanding between Government and AMU authorities. This could be made possible as the Boarding School has reportedly terminated their activities because Regional Bureau has constructed schools for the children in respective villages.

At the opportune time AMU approached the regional government with a request that was positively responded. The government has also allocated required budget for the same.

The foolproof site-plan for new campus is ready and as per the blue-print it will have class-rooms (3), dormitories (5), staff apartment & staff apartment studio-type (1 each), faculty office (1), lecture hall (1), language/internet lab (1), library including ground floor (1), students lounge & cafeteria (1 each), laboratory (1), staff resource centre (1) and general store (1).

There will also be an elevated water tank (50 meter cube), septic tank (115 meter cube); a pump house and ware house, beef cattle housing & feedlot facilities and three poultry houses. The construction for the same has already begun this month which is expected to be completed in two years time, Dr Nejib informed.

With regard to the christening of new campus, various names were doing the round but Kulfo Campus seems to be the most apt as Kulfo River is flowing behind this huge property.

The renovation works of the existing buildings that are going on the war-footing likely to get completed soon. As per the plan, first senior and second year students will be shifted and usual teaching and learning process will begin. Fresh students need to complete their first semester at Nech Sar Campus as the dormitories meant for them are yet to be ready. They will move to the new campus as soon as they get ready, he added.

The approved blue-print for the above mentioned structures have already been submitted to the consultant. The college also needs extra land to build warehouses for dairy, poultry and beef farms. These dairy, poultry and beef farms will be built 500 meters away from the teaching venue to save students from the harmful emissions.

The New Campus also has ambitious plan to grow cereals and wide varieties of horticulture products i.e. fruits, vegetables. The move is also afoot to have Farmer Training Centre at the site wherein peasants from surrounding areas will be trained to use technology to boost their farm production and grow varieties of agriculture products.

Under the improved productivity, AMU has a plan to supply quality milk, eggs and meat to AMU community and people of surrounding areas at a reasonable price that will help university to earn revenue, Dr Nejib revealed.

The detailed projects have been submitted to the Community Service Office and AMU will decide its modus operandi. AMU has already allocated budget for the above mentioned 3 farms.

By Philips Joseph