After gaining experience with several individual student projects first, in June 2018 our first official cooperation with a student group was a fact. A group of seven students from Wageningen Agricultural University, five Dutch students and two international students, build the theoretical foundation for our Armaiti project.
During their research the students focused on the dairy farming sector in Iran. Their central research questions were:
- What forms of sustainable dairy farming are possible in Shiraz area?
- What role can the knowledge center play regarding the possibility of adopting sustainable farming?
The result of this research was a well-founded report, which included a description of the current situation of dairy farming in Iran, an analysis of the stakeholders, a description of the desired situation and the roles the knowledge center can play in achieving this desired situation. The study was concluded with a large list of valuable recommendations.
This cooperation with Wageningen Agricultural University has formed the theoretical outline for our Armaiti project. We learned so much about what are important aspects to consider when you want to set up a project like this. The students came with ideas we had not thought of ourselves due to their fresh and neutral point of view.
Working with the Wageningen project group also learned us that working with student groups have certain advantages for both the students in the group and Stichting Simba. Because more people, preferably from different disciplines, work on the project the students can take advantage of each other’s expertise and use that for their future careers. It also results in a more solid report for us, so it is a win-win situation.
Of course we will also continue to work with individual student projects, but the experience with Wageningen project group has learned us to estimate better which of our assignments are more suitable as an individual assignment and which assignments are preferably executed by groups. This is valuable knowledge which also helps future students.