MEET YUSUF

The Mastercard Foundation - EARTH University Fellowship Program

Yusuf Yasin Abdirahman

Country: Somaliland
Track: Employment
Position: Agricultural Technical Advisor
Host company/organization: Agribridge Somalia
About position: Provides agriculture technical consulting services. Supports with technical assistance to banana farmers as part of efforts to redevelop the Somali banana industry.

Yusuf feels like the third year internship was perhaps the most impactful experience he had as a student at EARTH. He has always had a general interest in agriculture but it was not until his internship that he discovered that he wants to work with bananas. The banana crop has now become his passion. Yusuf completed his internship at Agribridges, a leading agricultural consulting company that supports a project focused on the revival of Somalia’s banana exports. He worked closely with the lead consultant in 20 farms, training commercial banana farmers to adapt modern banana production techniques. He provided assistance on water management, irrigation systems, fertilization practices, and harvesting and packaging for export. He also wrote a guidebook for banana producers. Yusuf describes this as “an experience that makes you realize what is outside of EARTH.” He entered his internship thinking he knew a lot, but at the end, learned that he needed to continue to do research and ask questions.

This experience led him to choose his graduation project, which was a study focused on Evaluating Basic Infrastructure, Agricultural Practices, and Markets to Assist the Revival of the Somali Banana Industry. Yusuf says, “Banana exportation stopped after the Civil War in 1991. All infrastructure was destroyed. Nowadays, bananas are growing again but they are poor quality, therefore they are not competitive.” He plans to go back to Somalia and share his results of his research to improve the industry. This in return will help not only his community but also his country. After he gains some experience he will apply to a Master’s program.

He describes EARTH,

as a good experience, especially being with students from so many different countries. It feels good to come from so far away.” He is very grateful for the knowledge he gained and for the opportunity he was given to study at EARTH. – Yusuf

Post-graduation plan: Yusuf will to Somalia to work in the banana sector, and later apply to a Master’s program.

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