Eighteen trainees drawn from various sectors in Nigeria, DR Congo, Ghana, Malawi, and Rwanda have successfully completed a training course on Geographical Information System (GIS) in Ibadan conducted by the IITA Geo-Spatial Laboratory with the support of the Capacity Development Office (CDO).
Dr Kenton Dashiell, DDG Partnerships and Capacity Development, welcomed the participants on behalf of Zoumana Bamba, Head of CDO. He highlighted the numerous opportunities for using GIS as a tool for analysis and decision-making and urged the trainees to use the knowledge derived from the training to improve the research activities in their regions.
The training focus was on the use of GIS as a tool in agricultural development research. The objective was to enable participants to understand the basic concepts of GIS and to discover how it can be applied in the context of IITA’s research-for-development agenda in a descriptive, analytical, and predictive manner. The participants were exposed to various GIS tools that enable dynamic decision-making in priority setting, spatial targeting, trial site selection, and the dissemination of research through simple maps. Particular emphasis was placed on how to bring field data from surveys and trials into a GIS and perform analysis in the spatial dimension.
The course combined intensive lectures and practical sessions on basic concepts of GIS and ArcGIS, the use of symbols on maps and cartographic design, GIS data needs for natural resource applications, geoprocessing and GIS modeling tools in agricultural research, designing maps with GIS, and the use of global positioning systems (GPS).
At the end of the training participants were ready to go and apply spatial technologies for priority setting and improved decision making for the R4D agenda of the Institute. The resource persons were Mr Michael Haertel, GIS Database Expert, Mr Tunrayo Alabi, the GIS Support Services Manager, and Mrs Sarah Chiejile, GIS Data Analyst.