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Malian Students Pursue Advanced Agricultural Science Degrees with Support from Feed the Future

Sixteen agricultural science students from Mali are set to embark on a program sponsored by the U.S. Government under the Feed the Future initiative and designed to strengthen the agricultural research capacity of Malian institutions. The students will first study intensive English for six months before pursuing Masters and PhD-level degrees in various agricultural fields at African higher education institutions in Kenya, Ghana and South Africa.

U.S. Ambassador to Mali, Mary Beth Leonard, met with the students prior to their departure to discuss their educational plans and to wish them a successful academic program.

The sixteen emerging scientists are participants in the Borlaug Higher Education for Agricultural Research and Development program (BHEARD), which honors the legacy of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug and aims to increase the number of agricultural scientists around the world while strengthening scientific institutions in partner countries. BHEARD scholars selected for the training are employees of Mali’s principal agricultural research institutions, including the Institute of Rural Economy and the Rural Polytechnic Institute for Education and Applied Research).

BHEARD supports long-term training of agricultural researchers at the masters and doctoral levels, and links scientific and higher education communities in Feed the Future focus countries and the United States. Implemented by Michigan State University, in partnership with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, the program is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

BHEARD also supports the development, testing and evaluation of new models of capacity development, including U.S.-based, local or third-country training. APLU’s role in the partnership has been to develop a knowledge-sharing system to identify innovative and effective mechanisms for human and institutional capacity development and to promote shared learning across programs.

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