Student Project to Improve Algerian Agriculture

Published: September 25, 2019 | Author: Kierstin Pitcher-Holloway | Read Time: 2 minutes

Agriculture Algeria student projectSouthern Utah University student Matthew Roberts recently took on an ambitious project - helping Algeria improve its agriculture infrastructure and become a more self-sustained country.

In May 2019, Roberts traveled with his father and brother to Algeria to lay the groundwork for the project. The trip was successful in building relationships with Algerian officials and discovering what work needs to be done to start building the Algerian agricultural industry.

“We were so excited because this country needs help in becoming self-sustaining so they can feed their population,” said Roberts. “This country is an OPEC nation that imports all their goods with their oil revenue. It is projected that they will run out of their oil reserves in less than 32 years. With this knowledge, they have partnered with us to help develop the agricultural industry there.”

Robert’s project focused on laying the groundwork for a future agriculture industry that will include 300,000 dairy cows and developing 300,000 acres of farmland. It was not a small undertaking, but Roberts was committed to making a difference in any way that he could.

“It’s one of the most ambitious projects I’ve seen,” said Dr. Kurt Harris, director of learning abroad and faculty coordinator of the Global EDGE program. “Matthew’s commitment and level of engagement were tremendous. He had to make international travel plans, arrange meetings, and create a budget, among other things.”

Organizing the trip and traveling to Algeria allowed Roberts to grow in ways that he had not anticipated. He believes that it was one of the most humbling experiences of his life.

“Being a part of this project opened my eyes tremendously on how big this world is,” said Roberts. “This showed me that for my future I want to be able to make a difference in as many people's lives as I can in many places around the world.”

“Matthew’s work will have a positive impact on Algerians for years to come,” said Harris. “His project is a great example of ‘soft diplomacy’ in action, of people helping others from vastly different cultural backgrounds.”

As of July 2019, three memorandums of understanding have been signed to begin the process of building the agriculture industry in Algeria.

Roberts graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting in July 2019 and plans on continuing his education in SUU’s Master of Business Administration program.

Tags: School of Business

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