Marshal Papworth 2019

The Marshal Papworth Fund is returning after a two-year Covid-enforced hiatus with an online preview training course this month.

The initiative, managed by the East of England Agricultural Society and formed in 2001 with funds bequeathed by the late East Anglian farmer Marshal Papworth, works towards helping developing countries across the world in ‘growing out of hunger.’

The 10-week short course at Harper Adams University welcomes students nominated by the fund’s charity partners, who are on the ground in the developing world and therefore able to ensure students that can benefit the most, both personally and in their capacity to help educate their home communities, take part. These charities are ADRA Ghana, Hands Around the World, Neno Macadamia Trust, Self Help Africa, Send a Cow, The Leprosy Mission and Tree Aid.

The Marshal Papworth Fund is giving this year’s 10-week short-course scholars a running start with a preview online training course this month. Some 26 students from seven developing countries - Burkina Faso, Ghana, India, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia - will be welcomed to the online course ahead of their 10-week sustainable agriculture course at Harper Adams University later this year.

Marshal Papworth Fund chairman Tom Arthey explained the decision to add the online element to the hands-on course: “We know from speaking to our alumni of over 200 students that the benefits of delivering our sustainable agriculture course in person in the UK, with all the access to Harper Adams’ amazing teaching staff and resources, farm and field visits that we organise and shared experiences from across different countries, are all critical to its success and the impact that our alumni go on to have when they return home.

“However, we wanted to offer an online element this year to allow those students, who have all deferred their places from 2021, to really hit the ground running with many of the fundamental elements of the course already under their belts.”

Edmore Mashatise, lecturer in sub-Saharan and tropical agriculture and leader of the Marshal Papworth Fund course at Harper Adams University, added: “The aim of the online short course is to train field officers and lead farmers from developing countries modern agricultural methods and practices; the trained course recipients will then go home and share with their communities the newly acquired knowledge and skills to enhance food security.

'The six-week online course acts as a precursor to the subsequent 10-week UK residential course delivered at Harper Adams University and students must demonstrate their engagement and achievement on the online course to progress to the residential course.”