Posted 17 June 2013
Harper Adams Senior Lecturer, Dr Matthew Back, has been awarded a trip to Kenya to discuss how the university’s research could potentially help African farmers.
Dr Back, Senior Lecturer/Researcher in Plant Pathology & Nematology, will attend an Agricultural Research Connections (ARC) workshop in Nairobi next month.
To secure a place at the event, he had to apply for funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, successfully being selected from more than 650 applicants.
Speaking of the trip, Dr Back, said: “The purpose of the visit is to meet with African researchers and farmers to share with them our knowledge in the area of biofumigation.
“Biofumigation is a term that describes the use of brassica residues, such as mustard, to improve soil fertility and reduce pests, weeds and diseases.
“We hope that by meeting with the researchers our work may be of use to African agricultural systems.”
The workshops are hosted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in association with the Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa – International Livestock Research Insitute (BecA-ILRI).
They aim to bring together scientists to foster collaborations to create new pathways out of poverty for African farming families.
Dr Back added: “I’m delighted to have secured funding for this trip as I believe it is important to interact with developing countries to see how our research can assist.
“I’m keen to share knowledge from Harper Adams and possibly develop our work within biofumigation through new collaborations.
“I think this trip will be an excellent opportunity to meet new people and is also good for my own personal development.”
Collaborations developed as part of the workshops can then compete for funding through calls for proposals, including the upcoming Program for Emerging Agricultural Research Leaders (PEARLs).
For more information, visit www.gatesfoundation.org