This semester we welcomed one student, Troy Simonato from Western Sydney University on our Agriculture Semester Program (ASP). Troy undertook the Agriculture Semester Program with the support of a $6,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grant. The ASP offered Troy the opportunity to experience academic life at Institute Pertanian Bogor (IPB) by enrolling in an Indonesian language class, and units in animal science and forestry faculties based on his education background and interest.

At the conclusion of the academic component of the program, Troy undertook his internship with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Bogor. Troy expressed interest in being placed at ICRAF because he agrees and supports their mission statement of ‘Transforming lives and landscapes with trees’. He believes that the livelihood of people can be significantly improved with better agriculture systems and better management of their natural resources. He was keen to learn about ICRAF’s work on the ground to carry these ideas into practice. During his placement, he worked on the Indonesia Rural Economic Development (IRED) program, in turmeric (Curcuma longa) production under the Shade Management and Fertilisation in Degraded Landscapes of Sumba Timur. The IRED program is a collaboration program between WahanaVisi, The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and Lutheran World Relief (LWR) that receives funding from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Troy’s tasks involved creating a detailed literature review on tumeric (Curcuma longa), collecting data on turmeric production in different experimental plots, data entry, data analysis, and reporting. Additionally, he shared his placement experiences to his colleagues at the end of his internship in August 2017. He felt the field work to Sumba had enriched his knowledge and experience in Indonesia, in particular, the on-ground activities in research areas and understanding the livelihood of those in rural areas were particularly beneficial.

Well done Troy! We were delighted to have you on our Agriculture Semester Program and we do hope that your time at IPB and on the placement during the program enrich your academic, cross cultural and personal development experiences. Congratulations and we wish you the best of luck with your future studies!