Marshal Papworth Fund celebrates 20 years of agricultural development partnership with Writtle University College
The Marshal Papworth Fund is celebrating its 20-year partnership with Writtle University College, Essex, where 18 Master students so far have studied as part of the association.
Scholars supported by the Marshal Papworth Fund at Writtle University College will be pursuing an MSc in an agricultural or horticultural sector, with current degrees supported by the Fund including MSc Sustainable Land, MSc Crop Production and MSc Post-harvest Technology.
One of the Fund’s most impactful scholars is Paul Opio, who studied for an MSc Animal Production and Nutrition in 2011 at Writtle University College, and now works for the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Paul’s role is as a Livestock Officer, advising on regional livestock emergency and resilience programming in his home country of Uganda.
Paul said: “The completion of my course opened doors of opportunities, which I used to see as just a dream – I credit the progress made in my career in the past 10 years to the Masters course completed at Writtle University College with a Marshal Papworth Fund scholarship and I still remain very grateful.” Paul continued: “My dream has always been to work with the most vulnerable people with the view to lift them out of poverty through livestock and agriculture, and this is the journey that I am still on.”
Since his scholarship at Writtle University College, through policy support, strategy development and response to livestock crises, particularly through drought, Paul has positively impacted the outcomes of pasture-based livelihoods and livestock farmers in Eastern Africa.
Asked why he wanted to particularly study at Writtle University College, Paul explained: “As a veterinarian working in Uganda, I faced lots of challenges from livestock diseases and environmental challenges as well, so, when I started to look for where I could do a course about animal production, the place that was so appealing was Writtle. It offered everything that I needed, the course and the delivery mechanism looked to me so practical and all set in a beautiful environment.”
“When I was visited during my studies by the Marshal Papworth Fund team, I could clearly see Marshal’s vision of helping communities ‘growing out of hunger’ and this further emboldened my ambition to complete my studies and return home to give back to my communities.”
Dr Anya Perera, Head of School for Sustainable Environments and Design, said: “Over the last 20 years, we’ve helped 18 Marshal Papworth scholars to gain postgraduate MSc qualifications in agriculture, horticulture and animal science. We are proud to see our alumni making a difference to sustainable food systems for communities around the world and look forward to welcoming the next generation of students to our campus.”
The Marshal Papworth Fund, an agricultural development charity managed by the East of England Agricultural Society, offers scholarships for students wishing to study a Masters degree in the UK, as well as running a bespoke 10-week short course at Harper Adams University, and a preparatory online course in sustainable agriculture.
Sandra Lauridsen, co-ordinator of the Fund, said: “Writtle have been with us right from the inception of the Marshal Papworth Fund, and we are grateful to them for two decades of support, settling our scholarship recipients in to university life in the UK and ensuring they are able to really maximise their opportunity to learn and then take that first-class education back to their home countries, to help their communities live more agriculturally sustainable and secure lives.”
The Marshal Papworth Fund was formed in 2001 with funds bequeathed by the late Marshal Papworth, an East Anglian farmer, and works towards helping developing countries across the world in ‘growing out of hunger.’