Ad-hoc training course on Plant Health Control and Inspection at Border Control Points for MAPA civil servants
CIHEAM Zaragoza, in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food organized an advanced course on “Plant Health Control and Inspection at Border Control Points” from 8 to 12 November 2021.
The main objective of the course was to address the procedures for the detection and identification of harmful organisms in plant products at border controls of imports and exports. The course was designed for civil servants employed in agriculture and fisheries, preferably plant health inspectors.
Fifteen inspectors followed the course that was given by twelve experts from different Spanish National Reference Laboratories. The course lasted 5 days, 3 of which consisted of online training to study the most serious quarantine pathogens (symptoms, detection, sampling and laboratory dispatch methods) and 2 days of face-to-face training to carry out laboratory practicals in Valencia.
Ad-hoc training activity for officers from EFSA FEED Unit
CIHEAM Zaragoza organized a three-part training course for the staff of EFSA´s FEED Unit on risk assessment for feed additives. CIHEAM Zaragoza was selected by EFSA, following a competitive bidding process, to provide the expert training with the objective of enhancing their expertise on the assessment of the safety and efficacy of additives and products or substances used in animal feeds. The course was delivered face-to-face in Parma in December 2019 and January 2020 with a final online course in February 2021.
The course was organized along similar lines of the institute´s well-established training model which engages leading external experts to deliver high-level training on behalf of CIHEAM. The course counted on the participation of over 15 international experts and scientists and covered a wide range of animal species including ruminants, poultry, fish, pets, bees, and snails. The following technical and scientific areas were covered during the course: animal nutrition, animal physiology and production (including feeding techniques, feed formulation, nutrient requirements, etc.), design, conduct and evaluation of feeding trials with food producing animals, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, metabolism and residue studies and exposure assessment.
For each of the curricula sections covered, the rationale, mode of action, current issues and new challenges were addressed. The most updated information was presented by recognized and leading experts in the field of animal feed additive risk assessment who are also familiar with EFSA risk assessment practices through their participation in FEEDAP and other EFSA panels.
Considering that FEED Unit staff are themselves experts in the area, this training offered a tailored syllabus in order to expand the collective knowledge and expertise of FEED staff about additives, based on prior informative feedback from staff members on their needs (gaps, strengths, weaknesses. etc.), expectations and ambitions for their further and continuous training through this course.
Integrated Breeding Multiyear Course (IB–MYC)
CIHEAM Zaragoza together with the “Generation Challenge Programme” (GCP) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) organized the “Integrated Breeding Multi-Year Course (IB-MYC) over a period of 3 years from July 2012 to November 2014.
The Integrated Breeding Multiyear Course (IB–MYC) was implemented by GCP’s Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) at CIHEAM Zaragoza with the objective of empowering breeders in developing countries to adopt molecular-breeding techniques. The ‘integrated’ approach to making this happen meant equipping students not only with the latest knowhow on molecular breeding itself, but also hands-on training in and effective tools for data management and analysis.
Since IB–MYC began in August 2012, the participants have each received two weeks of intensive face-to-face training per year. The participants were divided between three annual training sessions, broadly reflecting the three target regions for the course of Eastern and Southern Africa, West and Central Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. In between these sessions they were expected to work on assignments and project, with ongoing in-depth support including online resources from IBP. While well-supported, it was a demanding course, with students expected to pass each year and complete their assignments as a precondition to proceeding to the next year.
Rather than simply imparting knowledge that is forgotten as quickly as it is learnt, the practical focus, ongoing support and extended time-frame of IB–MYC ensured that participants were able to test and see the value of what they were learning within their own breeding activities, leading them to adopt useful technologies, tools and practices as an integral part of their work – and, it is hoped, becoming advocates, trainers and mentors themselves. Furthermore, as trainees have got to know each other and build relationships over the years, they have woven true communities of practice, springboards for sharing information and working together into the future.