The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) offers Tailor-Made Training Plus (TMT+) programmes worldwide. For these TMT+’s, ITC offers training and expertise to local partners. From 26 June to 7 July 2022, ITC received 22 visitors from Bangladesh in Enschede. This is part of a NUFFIC-funded TMT+ project.
“Seeing scientists and students at ITC working for different real-life problems of agriculture and natural resources management using geospatial technology was very inspiring”, Explains Dr Md. Golam Mahboob, Principal Scientific Officer of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) “Because, after visiting there, the participants could relate their learning from the TMT+ courses and working background together and become motivated to apply new knowledge and skills into their field of work”.
The TMT+ is a collaboration with the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) and the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) for a training project with the theme of ‘Open Source Scientific Computing for AgroGeospatial Big Data Analysis'. This program received support from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).
Dr Golam, together with Prof Andy Nelson and Dr Rolf de By, designed a training programme that includes a project-based application that will immediately apply the training skills to real use-cases in different BARI and BARC research divisions. The training is based on the ‘Learning Skills Pyramid philosophy’ to improve research, methodical and technological skills at BARI and BARC in data-intensive analytical work on food production systems that will allow the use of big data technology.
Dealing with the pandemic
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this TMT+ project experienced major delays of more than six months. Although not ideal, the project’s first three phases were all carried out through MOODLE, an online platform. Dr Mahboob explains, “In the earlier phases (I through III) held online due to the limitations of COVID-19 scenario between March 2021 to May 2022, we learned different basic and advanced courses of open source scientific computing for AgroGeospatial Big Data Analysis”.
A trip to the Netherlands and ITC
After the three first online stages, the 22 visitors followed a short, specialised course at ITC. In Dr Mahboob’s words, “During this phase IV held from 27 June 2022 to 6 July 2022 at ITC, the participants worked for their five group research projects dealing with some real-life cases from Bangladesh, employing all knowledge and skills acquired from earlier phases under supervision of dedicated supervisors from ITC. All the groups dealt with different aspects of AgroGeospatial BigData analysis which could be connected to addressing food security and other agricultural issues prevailing in Bangladesh.”
About the phases of the project, Dr Golam explains that “The final stage consists of a final formation in Bangladesh.”
The next stage in Bangladesh
The last stage of the training is planned in Bangladesh. However, there is a long-term perspective for future collaborations. As Dr Golam explains: “We had discussions with senior colleagues from ITC and NUFFIC to take this collaboration to contribute to the agricultural transformation for food security and environmental sustainability in Bangladesh and beyond further”.
Orange Knowledge Programme
The Orange Knowledge Programme is a €195-m Dutch global development programme available in 53 developing countries and managed by NUFFIC, a Dutch non-profit organisation for internationalisation in education. Launched in mid-2017, it aims to have provided tens of thousands with the possibility to change their future through education and training by 2022.
If you are interested in this collaboration between ITC and Bangladesh, please contact Dr Andy Nelson. If you want to learn more about the possibilities of the Tailor-Made Training programmes that ITC offers, please contact Lyande Eelderink.