Twenty-three research scientists and agriculturalists from research and development organisations in Western Pacific countries benefited from a two-week training workshop on biometrics at the National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) in Lae.
The training, which took place during November 19-30 2012, was part of an EU-ACP Capacity Building project coordinated by NARI, which aims to build the human resource capacity needed for high calibre agricultural research in PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to enhance productivity, efficiency and sustainability of the smallholder agricultural sector. Biometrics was one of those competency needs identified for development in agricultural research in the three countries.
The training was conducted by Port Moresby based Niugini Data Corp Ltd. Four participants each came from Solomons Islands and Vanuatu while the rest were from PNG’s NARI, Coffee Industry Corporation and Cocoa and Coconut Institute.
The objective was to equip researchers with basic understanding and confidence in performing calculations in statistical concepts, hypothesis testing, sampling, experimental design, regression and correlation, and analysis of variance.
Niugini Data Corp’s Principle Consultant and training facilitator Abner Yalu said the workshop focused on adult learners as action learners, thus statistical concepts where taught through adult learning activities.
“Individual brukim bus sessions helped with problem-based individual and group activities in which solutions where later discussed together in group sessions,” Mr Yalu said.
“Trainer of trainers were also mentored on adult learning principles and best practises of developing and presenting statistical training to other researchers.”
Mr Yalu, a biometrician and plant breeder, further noted that the training was just a basic statistical course but crucial for any researcher contemplating on building a career in scientific research. He stressed that often lack of publication by Melanesian researchers was an indication that researchers often did not know how to analyse their data.
This training concentrated on presenting step-by-step procedures on how to undertake specific statistical analysis based on real-research problems and publishing, he said.
“The participants agreed that this training was very useful and they all requested for further training in the future based on disciplined-specific statistical methods.”
Mr Yalu thanked NARI, EU-ACP and all participants from Vanuatu, Solomons and PNG for their interest and participation in making the training a success. He said his company (Niugini Data Corp Ltd) will be happy to assist other organisations with biometrics needs through PNG-orientated capacity development programs, integrating Melanesian Adult Learning styles and Adult Learning Practices in order to ensure efficient learning.
Mr Yalu has experiences in biometrics and breeding as a practitioner and trainer, both in the public and private sectors. He has provided these services to the PNG National Agricultural Research Systems in recent years.