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Formal Training

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 Mwimba College of Agriculture (MWICA) is the training arm of ARET. The college’s purpose is to develop skilled and practical tobacco experts and farmers with ability to effectively and profitably manage production of tobacco and related farming enterprises for the sustainability of the tobacco industry, the agricultural industry in general and the Malawi economy.

Mwimba College of Agriculture (MWICA) was officially opened as Mwimba Farm Institute (MFI) on 3rd May, 2001 by the then Vice President of Malawi, Hon. Justin Malewezi. Initially the college offered a one year course leading to a Certificate in Tobacco Production. It also offered a host of short courses to local and international students on demand. So far the College has awarded the Certificate in Agriculture to over 400 Students. The institution saw an ever increasing demand for enrolment over the years and it responded by increasing and improving its facilities. With an improvement in facilities came an upgrade of its courses to the current two and half year Diploma in Agriculture programme. The first cohort of 85 students on the Diploma course graduated in January 2012.

STRENGTH

The institute’s link to the Agricultural Research and Extension Trust means that it draws on a vast experience of knowledge and operations in the tobacco industry from ARET scientists and subject matter specialists. The college also draws killed trainers from University of Malawi, Ministry of Agriculture and the Kamuzu Academy. The College is probably the most practice-based tobacco training institution in Africa. This is because ARET, the parent institution, is a research based organization whose application of researched technologies involves the college students. Added to this is the fact that Malawi ranks among the biggest producers of tobacco in the world – one can, therefore, not develop skills in agriculture and tobacco in particular at a better institution.

student33The strong link with the industry players has greatly helped most graduates take up employment in various companies and government institutions. Furthermore, the course has also allowed many other graduates to go into their own farming. 

The other strength of the Mwimba College of Agriculture is diversity in its approach i.e providing training in a key product tobacco yet realizing that the success of farming in general depends on diversification. The course content therefore is not limited to tobacco production. 

LOCATION & ENVIRONMENT

The College is located near Mwimba Research Station in Kasungu and is very easy to reach on good accessible roads. Some seven kilometers west of Chinkhoma Trading Centre on the Kasungu-Mchinji Road takes you to Kamphulu Trading Centre. A junction northwards at Kamphulu drives you some seven kilometers to a beautiful and serene location which houses the Mwimba Research Station and the Mwimba College of Agriculture. MWICA is conveniently located in a place conducive to learning, away from various distractions of busy trading town and city life yet accessible to them. The place, like the Kasungu district that harbors it, is just rightly an agricultural place.

Facilities at the campus include spacious lecture rooms, a well stocked library, a lecture theatre, a hall with recreational facilities and DSTV, computer and full internet facilities, administration offices, and spacious accommodation.

COURSES

The College offers a two and half year Diploma in agriculture which includes the following subjects: 

Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Language & Communication, Principles of Sociology Gender & HIV AIDS, Computer Application, Tobacco Production, Crop Production, Land Resource Management, Agricultural Engineering, Soil Science, Livestock Production, Forestry, Horticultural Crop Production, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Marketing, Farm Business Management, Crop Protection, Plant Breeding, Animal Breeding, Plant Physiology, Human Nutrition, Statistics & Research Methods and Extension & Rural Sociology. 

ENTRY QUALIFICATIONS

a) School Leavers
Minimum entry qualification for the Diploma in Agriculture is a Malawi Schools Certificate of Education (MSCE) with credits in English, Mathematics and two science subjects like Physical Science, Biology, Home Economics, Geography and Agriculture.

b) Mature Entry
Those who have a Certificate in Agriculture or Tobacco Production from a recognized institution are considered on individual basis.

The curriculum is well developed and is modeled on the former Diploma curriculum at Bunda College of Agriculture. The course also includes classes in computing and computer applications. Using a local area network (LAN) which connects more than 30 computers, students can browse the internet at any time and access learning materials and information for their course.

In addition the college offers demand driven topical short courses. These may be one week or more depending on content and requirement by the participating organization.