Student projects prepare a new generation of researchers
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University Syiah Kuala and an ACIAR project has provided students the opportunity to learn from a diverse group of researchers and contribute to improving the livelihoods of farmers in Aceh.
Two Masters students from Unsyiah have been studying the properties of lowland soils to determine whether the application of rice husk biochar will have any effect on growth and yield of rice and legume crops in the village of Empetrieng.
Under the supervision of rice researchers Anischan Gani from ICRR Sukamandi, Chairunas from BPTP NAD and academic staff from Unsyiah, Masters students Khairun Nisa and Nasruddin are examining the relationship between different rates of biochar and soil chemical and physical properties. For Nasruddin, the benefit of being selected for this project is the opportunity to work with experienced field researchers and better understand what it takes to be a successful agricultural researcher.
Undergraduate students are also participating in the project. The current group is examining the nutritional potential of Indigofera as livestock forage, supervised by Unsyiah researchers.
Students are especially focussing on improving the germination and growth rate of Indigofera, and determining the rate of feed required to impact on the growth and health of livestock.