A very warm welcome to BOAT ( Bicton Overseas Agricultural Trust). BOAT is a registered Charity which was formed in 1991 by a group of Devon farmers and the Principal of Bicton College who wanted to help people from developing countries to produce more food and improve their livelihoods. They planned to achieve this by pooling resources and providing training to people in institutions that trained others, such as agricultural colleges or training institutes, both in the public and private sectors. The expectation was and still is that through this approach BOAT can reach a larger audience and effectively train trainers.
BOAT has now trained over 130 people, mainly from developing countries in East and West Africa. Initially, this training was vocational in nature such as dairy goat production and cheese making and farm machinery. More recently BOAT has identified a niche need for the training of managers in the organisations referred to above to manage their businesses more effectively and efficiently. As a consequence of such training, staff and students will be better prepared to take a more business-like approach to the work of running organisations and preparing students and farmers for improving food production and livelihoods. We also recognise the need for sustainability to be a key word in our work.
The short course on Institutional Management and Business Planning (International) is now accredited by Plymouth University and delivered as a residential intensive course at Bicton College in East Devon. Further details of this course can be found in the Section Our Work. So far 49 students have completed this course and the feedback has been very positive.
BOAT has also run two successful workshops in country. In 2008, three BOAT Trustees delivered a two-week workshop on Institution Management and Business Planning at the invitation of the Tanzanian Government’s then Ministry of Livestock and Water Resources at the Livestock Training Institute campus, Tengeru near Arusha, in the north of the country. Twenty four participants took part. The feedback was very positive and encouraging.
In 2012, a Trustee and a former Trustee and Associate, delivered an intensive one-week workshop on Sustainable Agricultural Management to 29 people at the Natural Resources College near Lilongwe in Malawi. One of the participants was from Mozambique. The feedback on the course was again very positive. The Report on this workshop is available on this web site. Delivering workshops and training courses in country is a key part of BOAT’s strategy which will enable it to reach a wider audience at lower costs.
BOAT has achieved a great deal over the years of its existence and we plan to develop our work even further. We cannot do this without further funding. We thank our sponsors, fundraisers and friends for their hard work in raising money. I thank them, for their tremendous efforts and anyone reading this who would like to contribute please click here.