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E-LEARNING FOR SYRIAN AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION
E-LEARNING FOR SYRIAN AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION

Cross Border Connected Learning in Northern Syria: An Agricultural Pilot Study

Cross Border Connected Learning in Northern Syria: An Agricultural Pilot Study

(a) Abdullateef, S., (b) Parkinson, (c) T. Sarmini, I

a Academic entre for Development and Peace Studies, Gaziantep, Turkey
 University of Kent, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, Canterbury, United Kingdom
c Gaziantep University, Faculty of Education, Gaziantep, Turkey

Abstract

Prior to 2011, public universities and private institutions in Syria were the main sources of knowledge and skills training for industry and agriculture. Due to the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis however, the country’s education system has been decimated at all levels, with disastrous effects for the nation’s knowledge base and training provision. To address these circumstances, strategies and methods for effectively re-skilling and up-skilling the agricultural workforce inside Syria are urgently needed. Traditional face-to-face models of education are difficult to implement due to conditions of conflict. This action research project centres on the delivery of participatory e-learning courses by Syrian academics in exile to learners inside Syria. In this paper, we describe and evaluate the delivery of a 5-week pilot course on Soilless Cultivation Systems. In addition to delivering an effective course, we sought to understand the challenges associated with distance learning in the Syrian context, to inform further development of approaches that can surmount these challenges, and which might in due course be extended into other areas beyond agricultural engineering. Accordingly, we developed a course that at a) constituted a meaningful educational experience for learners; b) facilitated the trial of a range of pedagogical approaches; and c) allowed for the collection of evaluative data to inform subsequent learning design. Findings highlighted the challenges of achieving applied relevance without laboratory or field access, meeting the needs and expectations of diverse learners, and facilitating sufficient interaction between learners and the lecturer. Possible strategies to address these issues include the use of high-quality video and images and planned use of routine social media technologies to facilitate parallel networking and resource share.

Keywords

e-learning, agricultural education, Syria, soilless culture systems, conflict, cross border, connected learning

 

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To cite this article:

Shaher Abdullateef, Tom Parkinson, Iman Sarmini, 2020. Cross Border Connected Learning in Northern Syria: An Agricultural Pilot Study,
International Journal of Educational Research Open, ISSN 2666-3740, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedro.2020.100005.

Agricultural Knowledge from Academy to Farming Communities

Agricultural knowledge from academy to
farming communities: The role of higher
education in enhancing food security in Syria

Abdullateef, S., Almashhour, E., Alabboud, A., Saleh, B. M., Albayoush, A., Assaf, M. and Adam-Bradford, A.

Abstract

The dynamics of the Syrian conflict present a complex set of challenges that led to considering more than 10.5 million people food insecure and in need of urgent agricultural and livelihood assistance. This article investigates the role of higher education (HE) in food security. It considers how universities, graduates, and appropriate curriculum and research engagement can address challenges and provide innovative
solutions in Syria.

 

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To cite this article:

Abdullateef, S., Almashhour, E., Alabboud, A., Saleh, B. M., Albayoush, A., Assaf, M. and Adam-Bradford, A. (2020) Agricultural knowledge
from academy to farming communities: The role of higher education in enhancing food security in Syria, Education and Conflict Review, 3, 67–76.

Drones for precision agriculture

Drones for precision agriculture – Smart Agriculture

How can drones benefit farmers?

The drone was used over the pineapple farm of AYINBORA in Ghana -Afrika,
after flying the drone over this farm. When the images were analyzed, it was realized that part of his pineapple field had a fungal attack. And detecting it at an early stage saved Joshua a lot of money.

 

 

bins of greenhouse bell peppers

Greenhouse – Modern Agriculture Technology

Awesome Greenhouse Bell Pepper Farming – Modern Agriculture Technology

 

Greenhouse pepper production is based on a year-long production cycle. Typically, seeding occurs in early to mid-October, plants are moved from the nursery into the production greenhouses six weeks later, just before Christmas. Harvest begins in late March and continues through to the following November. It takes roughly four months from seeding to first pick.

 

 

THE CURRENT CONSERVATION STATUS OF HORTICULTURAL GENETIC RESOURCES

The Current Conservation Status of Horticultural Genetic Resources and their Cryopreservation Future in Syria

Shaher Abdullateef, Ina Pinker and Michael Böhme

Department of Horticultural Plant Systems

Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture

Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin

Keywords: plant genetic resources, in situ, ex situ, genebanks, biotechnology

Abstract

Syria, located at the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea, has a unique potential and richness in genetic diversity. There are over 3150 plant species among them world-wide important plants, e.g. almond, apple, date palm, pear, pistachio, and olive. Because of numerous man-made and natural pressures, losses in biological diversity especially for apples and wild olive are recorded. Therefore, in collaboration with IPGRI and FAO, a national program for plant genetic resources conservation was established 10 years ago. It involves in situ, ex situ and in vitro conservation approaches. In the frame of this program, characterization of the genetic diversity of local Syrian cultivars has started. The in situ conservation of wild plant species is carried out through over 22 protected areas and 2 national parks of 315,221 ha in total. Ex situ conservation includes seed genebanks to storage seeds for long-term (at -18°C to – 22°C) and medium-term (at 0°C to 4°C), field genebanks to storage apple, pistachio, wild olive etc., and botanical gardens. In vitro conservation is used to maintain local cultivars of potato. For vegetative propagated plants, cryopreservation could be a promising technique for long-term conservation. However, in spite of availability of cryopreservation protocols, this technique is not used in Syria due to a lack of coordinated research, as well as limitations in efficient and robust cryopreservation protocols and technologies.

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THE ORIGINS OF HYDROPONIC

THE ORIGINS OF HYDROPONIC

Adhyayan Panwar

The origins of hydroponics can be traced back to the ancient city of Babylon, where present-day Iraq is located. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is the first known example of soil-less growth of plants. This was around 600 BC. Later on, around 1100 BC, the Aztec Indians got creative with their growing techniques and created gardens that seemed to be floating. These “floating gardens” were called ‘chinampas’, which had a strong combination of roots and lashes, laden with sediment from lake-bottoms, providing nutrients to the crops and plantations.
 Similar floating plantations were discovered by Marco Polo on his visit to China, which left him bewildered as he hadn’t seen anything like this ever before. The first scientific perspective towards this soil-less technique is attributed to the Italian genius, Leonardo da Vinci, who observed that plants and crops needed to absorb minerals to survive. His findings were published after his death, that implied his famous branching rule: “all the branches of a tree at every stage of its height when put together are equal in thickness to the trunk”.

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Hydroponics and problems of modern agriculture

Hydroponics and problems of modern agriculture

Emilia Obłuska

 

Our food production and distribution systems look disastrous nowadays. Excessive use of pesticides, fertilizers, soil sterilization and monocultural crops have a huge impact on natural ecosystems and biodiversity on Earth. Climate change and increasingly severe droughts, in turn, hinder farming and cause drastic increases in food prices. If that was not enough, about ⅓ of the food produced goes straighly to the bins and landfills, while 1 in 9 people in the world suffer from malnutrition [1]. The situation calls for a redefinition of agriculture as we know today. Of course, there is no simple remedy for the complicated problems of modern agriculture and food distribution. Many people say, however, that hydroponics can be one of the big steps to repair them.

to be continued

 

Syrian Agricultural policies for the years before the year 2011

Syrian Agricultural policies for the years before the year 2011

Abdulaziz Dayoub

 

Syria occupied an important agricultural position in the past, it gained the title of the food basket of the Roman Empire. During the fifties of the last century, that is, after independence, agriculture contributed to the growth of the national economy through agricultural companies planting large areas, until the year 1958, which was considered
the beginning of the deterioration of Syrian agriculture through the law of agricultural reform, which Issued at the beginning of uniting with Egypt, which led to the fragmentation of those agriculture areas and thus a decline in the use of agricultural mechanization.

In the beginning of the sixties of the last century, this law was enshrined during the Ba`ath Party’s seizure of power, where it devoted the fragmentation of fragmented and the deepening of the gap in agricultural relations in addition to the adoption of agricultural policies that led to agriculture reaching the brink of collapse. One of the most important implemented policies is the controlling of the countryside through the construction of “Trade Union Organizations”, in which are affiliated with the Ba’ath Party and local Security Services. Also, the formation of “Agriculture Cooperation Societies”, where corruption is rampant in all its structures. Those policies continued to seize agricultural institutions and empty them of their content professionally and scientifically, and therefore plundered them for the benefit of the powerful in power, which took advantage of every agricultural joint for their service.

In addition, they dealt with the repercussions of the drought phenomenon that affected the eastern region of Syria in the year 2008 in the form of Mafia fashion aimed at seizing the property of farmers by agricultural banks, which led to their forced displacement. Their numbers approached half a million, most of whom were Assyrians, Chaldeans and Syrians, and their lands were distributed to power supporters from clan leaders or security and loyal officials.
This study provides some important recommendations:
– Reconsidering the laws that hinder the development of agriculture
– Restructuring the Ministry of Irrigation and Agriculture, in line with the administration's development and improving skills.
– Attention to “Alternative Agriculture” and Drought-Resistant Crops.
– Other recommendations aimed at the transition of Syrian agriculture to modernity and its effective contribution to the development process.

Read and download the full article in Arabic version

 

How do you grow vegetables in the desert?

How do you grow vegetables in the desert?

by Euronews

 

A Syrian farmer in the UAE is producing a variety of salad vegetables and herbs in the inhospitable climate and terrain of the region.

Amjad Alkhal, who works as an agricultural engineer at Emirates Hydroponics Farms, uses a hydroponic farming system – an innovative method of growing plants without soil – but instead using a liquid nutrient solution.

Chilled water passes through insulating tubes to nourish plants like lettuce, which are planted in a fibrous material called rockwool.

to be continued

 

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