On 8 June, UNU-IAS hosted the International Workshop on Capacity Building of Young Agricultural Researchers in Developing Countries: Considering the Effectiveness of On-the-Job Training. This workshop synthesized the outcome of the On-the-Job Research Capacity Building Programme for Food Security and Environmental Conservation in Developing Countries (OJCB), which UNU-IAS has been implementing for six years with funding from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
UNU-IAS Director Kazuhiko Takemoto and Yasuro Funaki, Principal Deputy Director, International Research, of MAFF delivered opening remarks, followed by an introduction of OJCB by Akira Nagata. The results of OJCB projects then were presented by the host scientists namely: Vitalis Ogemah of Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) of Kenya on post-harvest management, Aimé H. Bokonon-Ganta of University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC) of Benin on cross-border pest control, and Leni Camacho of University of the Philippines Los Baños on forest conservation.
The panel discussion moderated by Osamu Saito discussed various topics such as the relationship between formal education gained through university study and OJT, with speakers including Osamu Koyama, Vice President of Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS). Finally, Nagata, who has been in charge of this project for its entirety, emphasized that, with a base in the education provided by universities, OJT is a cost effective and efficient method of vocational training for researchers and that international cooperation should further take the OJT approach into consideration for capacity development.