Kenyan student Peter Okoth, currently studying for an MSc in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, has returned from representing the UK in the British Council and Newton Fund Early Career Researchers’ (ECR) workshop in Kenya exploring ‘Air Pollution in Emerging Mega-Cities’ and presenting his own research on ‘Mitigation practices to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions from Urban and Per-urban Agriculture’.
Peter explained: “Agriculture suffers from air pollution with reduced light intensity, varying average temperature, low relative humidity and particulate deposits. This leads to low crop yields and reduced animal performance which affects regional food production and food security, so it was beneficial that this workshop facilitated cross-boundary networking and identified common experience on which to build future collaborative partnerships with fellow ECR members, established scientists, policy makers and stakeholders.
The workshop particularly uncovered a real need to tackle air pollution in Africa, where there are two main challenges. Peter explained: “There is both a lack of Air Quality (AQ) data and lack of sustainable AQ policy. Many deaths that occur because of air pollution go unnoticed or unrecorded, especially in the upcoming mega-cities of Africa and South East Asia.” This lack of data and subsequent lack of policy means that there is a real need for transdisciplinary research to tackle the challenges of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Peter Okoth is one of the 184 students that the Marshal Papworth Fund has currently supported as a Masters or short course student in the UK, equipping them with practical and sustainable agricultural solutions to enable communities in developing countries in growing themselves out of hunger. In order to continue these opportunities for students from the developing countries and benefit more communities, the charity relies on donations from individuals and businesses. To find out more and to make a donation contact Sandra Lauridsen on 01733 363514 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.