Twenty graduates from the Marshal Papworth Fund scholarship programme are on their way back home having completed their studies in the UK. The students, 13 from the tailored 10-week Short Course and 7 from the Masters programme are now equipped and ready to disseminate their new knowledge and skills to fellow countrymen. They will join the growing army of Marshal Papworth students now fighting in-country issues such as food insecurity, poverty and climate change, in countries including Kenya, Zambia, Malawi and Uganda.
Over half a billion Africans are smallholder farmers, and smallholders produce 70 per cent of the world’s food. However these farmers are particularly vulnerable to climatic change and economic fluctuations, with many living from one harvest to the next. The Marshal Papworth Fund’s students are specifically chosen because of the large number of people they are able to share knowledge with on completion of the course.
Edgar Kadenge, who completed the Marshal Papworth 10-week Short Course, works with over 12,000 farmers in Kenya, helping them to improve their livelihoods. When discussing his plans for returning home, he commented: “Through my role I am able to spread the knowledge gained through the Marshal Papworth Fund’s course to a huge number of farmers. I have the ability to make a difference to local communities, helping farmers to alter their agricultural practices in order to bring in optimum yields from their fields, which in turn will improve domestic incomes.”
Barbra Kavuta has completed a Masters in Climate Change & Development at the University of Reading. Barbra will put the knowledge gained from her Masters qualification towards protecting Malawi from climate change. She said: “I have gained valuable skills that will help me to advocate policies which will work towards making Malawi more resilient to Climate Change. The knowledge I have gained during my one year in the UK means I can also contribute to the formulation of climate friendly technologies when I get back home.”
The Marshal Papworth Fund is wholly managed by the East of England Agricultural Society and has already helped improve the lives of over one hundred and twenty students from developing countries through its Masters Programme and 10-week Short Course. In order to continue this work and give more students the opportunity to benefit from its scholarships, the Fund relies on donations.