13 June 2012
The 3rd Netherlands Management Trainee Programme (NMTP) on Precision Agriculture organised by PLUS took place in the Netherlands in May-June 2012. Seven young agricultural specialists from Russia and Ukraine participated in various training activities and executed practical assignments.
Among the participants were researchers and PhD students from Moscow State University of Environmental Engineering (Moscow, Russia) and Institute of Water Problems and Land Reclamation (Kiev, Ukraine), specialised in use of geographic information technologies for arable farming and irrigation planning. Also there were representatives of private business and governmental bodies from Russia, namely a company-dealer of equipment and technologies for precision farming Agro-Soft LLC and Kuban Agricultural State Information Centre for the Krasnodar region.
NMTP was divided in two parts: 2 weeks training and 3 weeks company placement. Trainees also joined some activities of the Russian trade mission during the week of 21-25th May.
The first part of the programme was hosted by CAH Dronten – Agricultural University of Applied Sciences. During two weeks participants learnt what a modern farm business is like and how to manage an agricultural enterprise. Lecture material on entrepreneurship, human resources management, and efficiency of the organisation was supported by hands-on experience and practical examples during field visits. Substantial part of the training was about advanced technologies and equipment for precision farming, especially use of sensors and sensing technologies for optimized use of fertilizers and crop protection. Also this period included practical training at PTC+, a modern practical training institution in agricultural technology. There participants learnt how to use farm management software and make application maps, but also how to then use these maps with GPS-navigation systems during actual work on the field, including driving tractors equipped for planting, ploughing, spraying, etc.
The second part of NMTP consisted of executing practical assignments at one of the PLUS member-companies. For example, the assignment done by a trainee for Agri2.0 was about analysis of variation in sugar beet planting and its correlation with different factors.
The training was not only a good knowledge build-up for Ukrainian and Russian specialists, but became a site for knowledge exchange and perspective start-up for international projects between the Netherlands, Russia and Ukraine.