From 2-4 August 2022, a three-day training session on Field and Laboratory Techniques for Nematology was organized at Muni University under the NEMEDUSSA Project. The training focused on plant-parasitic nematodes that cause losses in crops, and created awareness to the stakeholders about the available nematology facilities and the capacity in the Department of Crop Science to conduct nematode diagnostics. The nematode laboratory of the Department of Crop Science was recently upgraded and received new microscopes and other material in the framework of the NEMEDUSSA project, with the generous sponsorship of EACEA. The participants in the training had the opportunity to use the material as part of their practical sessions.
The session was attended by 9 agricultural officers and instructors of agricultural colleges from the West Nile region. This group of participants were selected because they are practitioners and in direct contact with farmers and students. Their training was theoretical, as well as applied. The theory sessions included an introduction to nematodes by Dr. Alfred Alumai, as well as a focused session on Plant Parasitic Nematodes by Dr. Francis Onyilo. Practical sessions, lead by Ms. Betty Nyangwire, included field sample collection, nematode extraction techniques, microscopy, and morphological identification.
Participants agreed that the training on basic nematology was a successful one. During evaluation, the trainees pointed out a number of recommendations. Participants recommended the number of trainees in nematology be increased to benefit all West Nile districts if funds allow. Trainees are ready and willing to recommend their colleagues for the nematology training, as their fellow extension colleagues lack knowledge and skills in diagnostics and management.
At the completion of the training, many participants shared the desire to continue with nematology training at any level, e.g., short courses, MSc and PhD, and they felt this was an excellent introduction into the field.