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Rojas-Cifuentes Volunteers in West Africa

North Dakota State University Foundation Seedstocks Assistant Director Gonzalo Rojas-Cifuentes spent two weeks in Guinea, West Africa in September volunteering for Winrock International, which cooperates with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. Rojas was a volunteer for the Agriculture Education and Market Improvement Program (AEMIP).

October 23, 2017

North Dakota State University Foundation Seedstocks Assistant Director Gonzalo Rojas-Cifuentes spent two weeks in Guinea, West Africa in September volunteering for Winrock International, which cooperates with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. Rojas was a volunteer for the Agriculture Education and Market Improvement Program (AEMIP).

Winrock International engages volunteers to help provide technical assistance and training to different USAID programs. AEMIP builds the capacity of training and research institutions to respond to the needs of farms and agricultural organizations in the face of shifting markets and climate change. Rojas worked at the Institut Supérior Agronomic et Vétérinaire de Faranah (ISAV/F) in Faranah. The purpose of the ISAV/F is to provide research and education in order to secure food availability, develop local agriculture and respond to climate change issues for people in Guinea.

Rojas introduced multiple topics related to plant breeding including selection for yield, diseases, submergence tolerance, quality and taste, emerging diseases and insect problems. The major crop he covered was rice, which is a staple food supply in Guinea. He also visited the ISAV/F experiment station and rice fields, the local market to obtain rice varieties, and helped conduct a sensory panel demonstration. The target audience for this training were faculty and students of ISAV/F.

Rojas worked closely with the AEMIP Project Director Mr. Andrew Kovarik.

For more information on USAID work in Guinea, see https://www.usaid.gov/guinea/environment and https://www.winrock.org/  

For more information on the NDSU Foundation Seedstocks, see https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/fss/.

Source: Gonzalo Rojas-Cifuentes, 701-231-8168, gonzalo.rojas@ndsu.edu
Author: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,
Editor: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,

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