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Plant clinics in Uganda with Marshal Papworth graduate, Clare Omal

Clare Omal from Uganda graduated from the Marshal Papworth 10-week Short Course in 2015. On completing the course, Clare went on to educate others in-country on new farming approaches she learnt on the course. Together with the extension staff of her local district’s government she holds plant clinics, which include workshops and training in a number of areas targeted at farmers in the community.

A farmer on one of Clare’s plant clinics

Clare commented: “My focus during the plant clinics is to educate farmers in soil and water management, crop management and nutrition, and crop rotation.

“I use the knowledge gained through the Marshal Papworth Short Course to educate others, so that they can improve their livelihoods, and the situation for others around them.”

Clare with a farmer and his harvest

Clare’s plant clinics include the following training:

  1. Crop protection – Advising farmers to regularly monitor their crops for early detection of crop pests and diseases. Explaining how touse crop control options that maximise human safety whilst minimising negative environmental damage. Helping farmers to understand why they should use resistant crop varieties, adjust rotations and time cultivations and plant crops for early maturity.
  • Soil and water management – Instructing farmers to use cultivation practices that minimise damage to soil structures such as minimum tillage. Explaining the benefits of adopting measures to reduce erosion by planting cover crops.
  • Crop nutrition – Explaining the importance of selecting and matching fertiliser application with individual crop requirements to minimise nutrient loss. Highlighting why farmers should avoid the over use of artificial fertilisers but rather adopt the use of organic fertilisers.
  • Crop rotation and variety choice – Why farmers should choose varieties of seeds/crops and relevant sowing dates to minimise pest problems. How to manage crop cultivation and fertiliser treatments to improve soil fertility and the significance of using a cropping sequence to reduce nitrate leaching and pest development.
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