Marshal Papworth short course graduates detail the projects that they will take home to improve the agriculture in their countries, using sustainable farming and rural business practices that they have learnt during their time at Moulton College and on field trips to successful farming enterprises.
In the words of one of the students, Malick Sow: “Agriculture is an international language and innovation can be universal – teaching people how to develop and grow their way out of hunger is the best way to tackle poverty.”
Caroline Ochieng Andango – Youth in Agriculture
Caroline, an Agricultural Extension Officer in Kenya, details her project to tackle feeding the growing population of her country by bringing more young people in to agriculture. She will do this through setting up youth forums, starting agricultural shows and competitions, and campaigning to re-introduce agriculture in schools. Her aim is to make agriculture more appealing as a career, demonstrating through sustainable farming practices she has picked up on the Marshal Papworth short course that it can be a reliably profitable enterprise. See video here…
Assane Gane – Youth in Soil Conservation
Senegalese irrigation supervisor Assane sets out his project to improve the soil quality in his village through collaboration with the young farmers who currently know there is a problem but do not know how to fix it, emphasising that with a growing population the soil needs to be protected from compaction, erosion and flooding to keep it in cultivation. Assane, who works for G’s Fresh’s West Africa Farms, plans to organise local meetings on his return to Senegal, setting out trial plots to demonstrate the benefit of planting trees, adding organic matter and worms, making compost, monitoring pH, crop rotations and no tillage, as well as reducing irrigation. See video here…
Fredrick Owino – Changing Cassava Farming as a Business
Fredrick, a Kenyan farmer, has been inspired by his time on the Marshal Papworth course to turn his small farm into a diversification business. Business planning and budgeting lessons have enabled Fredrick to identify an opportunity to expand his farm and sell cassava flour, tubers, chips, crisps and biscuits to his community where they normally travel to neighbouring Uganda for these. He will also sell disease-free cassava plant cuttings to neighbouring farmers and support their cultivation through a cooperative that he will set up, sharing the sustainable farming knowledge that he has absorbed. See video here…
Malick Sow – Walo Onion Ambition
Malick, an onion harvest supervisor with G’s Fresh’s West Africa Farms in Senegal, outlines his project to support his local ‘walo’ (a community group growing crops to grow out of poverty) in more sustainable onion growing skills and productivity through applying SWOT analysis to all aspects of onion cultivation. Malick will educate the ‘walo’ in the importance of soil testing before the crop is in the ground, ploughing, power harrowing, making a raised seed bed to reduce weed burden, reducing compaction, using the correct tools for each job, selecting good soil and correct fertiliser use. After seeing the relationship between biodiversity and farming in the UK, Malick is also keen to introduce biodiversity in Senegal for natural pest management. See video here…
Teeg Wende Barthelemy Savadago – Improving Women’s Resilience by Training
Barthelemy from Burkino Faso, is keen to remove the barriers to agriculture for women on his return home, where women are 52% of the population and already contribute up to 72% to the household economy, often paying for the school fees of their children. He highlights that while women are already heavily involved in agriculture, they do not have the same access to resources so field training is critical, especially in vegetable agriculture. By working with field officers Barthelemy will share his new knowledge in the importance of soil fertility, understanding the supply and demand market and budgeting, translating into local languages templates for technical growing skills, business plans and SWOT analysis.
Joseph Otieno – Nyoniala Cassava Project
Kenyan Joseph details his project to grow his own cassava farm from eight to 15 acres off the back of the sustainable farming and business skills he has picked up during his time on the Marshal Papworth course, as well as training 200 local farmers and 20 farmer groups in his community in sustainable cassava management including improving impoverished soils by using organic matter, reducing soil compaction and planting trees. Through his farm’s sustainable expansion he will also work with local charities and support groups to provide cassava chips at a reduced cost to help fight poverty.
Victorine Owina – Role of Soil in Sustainable Farming
Victorine, a farming co-operative manager from Kenya, has used her time on the Marshal Papworth short course to identify a series of practical and inexpensive tools to help farmers in her co-operative, 75% of which are women. Visits to farms in the UK that are practicing conservation agriculture have showed Victorine that farmers in Kenya must integrate a healthy and diverse environment with economic profitability for true sustainable farming. Simple soil tests and sharing compost making skills that use sustainable elements including readily available grass clippings and ash from cooking fires to encourage worms in the soil, will make soils in the best condition to support women doing more enterprise in agriculture. See video here…
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