Now providing agricultural scholarships to students from 29 developing countries worldwide, this year’s cohort of nine Masters students includes Onalenna Bosilong, from Botswana, and Tien Thi Ha Le, from Vietnam.
Botswanan Onalenna is studying for an MSc in Integrated Pest Management at Harper Adams University. She says: “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges to farming in Botswana and is a huge limitation on cattle and crop production, the main enterprises. As an MSc Integrated Pest Management student, the program offers me an opportunity to learn new skills in pest and disease identification as well as developing integrated and sustainable solutions for different pest problems in agriculture. The field visits and practical aspects of my programme are also equipping me with hands on skills and exposing me to new innovations in pest management.”
Onalenna continued: “Coming from a developing country that is still constrained in terms of developing human capital to tackle food security issues, my Marshal Papworth Fund scholarship is a tremendous opportunity that will not only build my career, but also contribute to my country’s human capital development.”
Tien, from Vietnam, is studying for an MSc in Climate Change and Development at University of Reading. “The majority of the Vietnam population live in rural areas and rely on agricultural activities as their mainstay, which are exposed to the effects of climate change.” Eighteen million people live on the banks of the Mekong River delta, and whilst they benefit from the rich sediment deposited by the delta, climate change also means that the sea water is making inroads on the lands surrounding the delta, killing off paddy fields and fruit orchards.
Tien says: “In Vietnam, young people are now getting an education and then returning to their hometowns to apply their knowledge in agricultural production, and make it more sustainable. Although our farming activities are still extremely susceptible to natural hazards, I place my hope on the adaptability of Vietnamese farmers. I hope that the future picture of farming will involve the proactive participation of farmers, and I can be there to support them in this process with my knowledge that I earned here on my Marshal Papworth funded scholarship, for which I am very honoured.”