In June 2022, the University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC), Benin successfully established their Nematology Student Club. The club is based at the School of Plant Sciences (ESTPV), and will build on the work of the NEMEDUSSA project.
The UAC Coordinator of the Project, Dr. Antoine Affokpon, welcomed everyone to the launch of the club. After a brief presentation of the NEMEDUSSA project, he highlighted the benefits for UAC such as providing equipment for practices to students, capacity building of Staff (e;g. trainings of Mr Christian Atchadé on EPN at SU, of Ms Elodie Coffi on PPN at UGent, and coming trainings of Ms Coffi on SBI at UGent and Sabrina Adanmaho at BCCN in Nairobi), developing Nematology Course Content for BSc, MSc and Agronomic Engineer levels, etc.). He also pointed out that UAC should, on its side, contribute to awareness on nematodes issues (e.g. PPN) and benefits (e.g. EPN) among its academics, scientists, University students/Secondary schools/High schools/youth, Private sector, Government organizations (GO’s) and Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Policy makers, Extension service workers, and Farmers and farmer’s associations. UAC, through the Faculty of Agronomic Sciences, has also to implement the Nematology Course to be developed by the Consortium for 12 Sub-Saharan Universities members of the Consortium.
This presentation was followed by a discussion of the aims and activities of the student club. The Student club members were invited to consider themselves spokespersons of Nematology towards their peers in other Universities and the students of Secondary and High Schools of Agriculture. Other participants expressed the wish that similar activities will be conducted soon with farm cooperators and NGO’s investing in Agriculture.
The meeting was attended by 24 participants including the Vice-Dean of the School of Plant Sciences, 16 students of UAC, online participation of 1 student of UGent (belonging to Nematology Unit of UAC), 2 participants from the External Collaborator Cooperative Eco-Legumes, 3 staff of Nematology Unit and the accountant of the Project. All the 16 pre-selected students agreed to be members of Nematology Student Club of UAC. They were then divided into 4 thematic groups: Plant-Parasitic group (PPN), Entomo-pathogenic group (EPN), Nematode as bioindicator group (NBI) and Nematode as model organism group (NMO). A coach was assigned to each thematic group. The Club will start its work in July and will be officially inaugurated at the start of the next academic year in September.
The Vice-Dean of the School, Prof. Aimé Bokonon-Ganta, in his closing remarks congratulated the participants for the quality of the discussion and declared that the success of the Nematology Student Club will encourage the establishment of similar club in other disciplines.
For more information about the Student Club contact:
Nematology Unit (UNema), Faculty of Agronomic Sciences (FSA), University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC), Tel: (229) 97 12 44 08; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org