Man in poultry house

Cheick Ahmed Ouattara

Cheick Ahmed Ouattare (Burkina Faso)

International diploma animal feed

Cheick Ahmed Ouattara (23) from Burkina Faso followed the International Diploma Animal Feed course at Aeres TCI. Cheick learned a lot and will get back to his farm fully prepared for the future. This was not Cheick’s first time in the Netherlands.

Before this recent training Cheick studied Applied Poultry Management at Aeres TCI. Cheick has his own poultry farm back home. He came to the Netherlands to improve his knowledge so that in future he will have more, healthier chickens. “I wanted to learn how to strategically manage and how to invest in a parent stock unit with a hatchery,” he says. “Learning how to protect chicken from diseases, and how to handle if livestock gets ill. How to feed chickens the best possible way – also from an economical point of view – and why and how to use vaccinations. In Barneveld I learned all this, and much more actually. I learned how to think big.”

Think further than tomorrow

When we ask him if there are things that Cheick learned in Barneveld that he will certainly apply back home, he says: “Long-term planning. Always take the future into consideration. Not just thinking about tomorrow but about next year and after that. The main purpose why I came to the Netherlands was to improve my own farm. Thinking big will surely help me to do that. If you make sure your business is ready for the future, your increase your chances of success. At the moment there is not much competition in Burkina Faso. We do not have a large number of poultry farms but that does not mean you can lay back and take a nap. If you do that, you could be surprised when you wake up. Because the world is changing very fast.”

Burkina Faso is a country that has been afflicted by war and disorder. “My country is not safe”, says Cheick. “Because of those circumstances many people back home are worried about tomorrow. Long term planning is not always an option if the situation in your country is unstable.

Learning by doing is much more fun

In addition to running his own poultry farm, which Cheick started in 2016 and in which he keeps broilers and layers, he works part-time as a trainer back home. “I share my experience at a small training company which my father started two years ago,” he explains. “I provide agricultural trainings, mostly to young people and farmers. In that way I can share the knowledge I gained during the past nine months with the people back home. Also, I will apply the training methods of Aeres TCI back home.

Show people the practical side of what you tell them, encourage them to ask questions, participate in the training in an active way. When you just sit and listen to what a teacher has to say, learning can become quite boring. Learning by doing and asking questions is not only much more educational; it is also much more fun.”

Training methods

Cheick says that in Burkina Faso most teachers and trainers talk 95% to the time in the classroom. “The teacher talks, the students listen. Back home we learn from reading books and listening to teachers. Here at Aeres TCI things work completely differently. Here, the trainers challenge you to find solutions, to ask questions, to try and find things out for yourself during practical training sessions. In the Netherlands, the teacher is on an equal level with the students. Back home you do not argue with a teacher; in Barneveld they challenge you to do just that. That is a completely different mindset, which I really had to get used to. The teachers here expect you to ask questions, to participate. I learned that that is very educational. Those training methods I will certainly take back home, together with all the knowledge I gained here.”