Learning how to sustainably fight agriculture pests

Travel scholar, 2014

Hassem Habes is a biologist from Jordan specializing in plant protection. He works as key researcher and project manager at the Agreements and International Cooperation Unit at the National Center for Agricultural Research and Extension in Amman, Jordan. His research interests are mainly focused on sustainable and rural development as well as sustainable agriculture and food security.
Hassem applied to the Travel Scholarship of the Lutfia Rabbani Foundation in order to attend an international training course on the Koppert products, one of the world leaders in pest management techniques linked to agriculture. Hassem’s main objective was finding the best means to fight the natural enemies of leaf miner Tuta absoluta, a pest that attacks tomatoes, Jordan’s highest exporting crop.

These were his impressions…
In addition to the exchange of experiences with international participants from 10 different countries, instructors taught us the most advanced techniques, concepts, approaches and bio-systems in the biological control. Another important issue that was handled well is the release methods of insects that were presented and the problems associated with it. The course included two parts theoretical and practical modules in addition to the field tours (sweet pepper and cut flowers nurseries).
Today, I will work hard to absorb all the new techniques and advances in the field that I have learned and upon returning home, will disseminate all the new learned ideas and approaches and acquired skills to my institute, colleagues and growers. I will also work hard to establish a biological control lab or unit.
The few days I have spent in the charming and cosmopolitan area of Rotterdam allowed me to learn more about the cultural and social aspects of the Netherlands.
For me, it was a fruitful experience which has left its fingerprint on my academic as well as social life.