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    Marshal Papworth Fund agricultural development course welcomes new students

    Posted 20 May

    The new cohort of Marshal Paworth students with representatives from the Fund and Harper Adams Vice-Chancellor Professor Ken Sloan.

    A new cohort of students from developing countries in Africa have embarked upon a 10-week course in sustainable agriculture at Harper Adams University funded by the Marshal Papworth Fund.

    The fund, an agricultural development charity managed by the East of England Agricultural Society, offers scholarships each year for students to attend the course.

    Dr Mitch Crook, Taught Postgraduate Programmes Manager at Harper Adams University, said: “Each year, the provision and collaboration between Harper Adams University and the Marshal Papworth Fund and its partners goes from strength to strength seeking to build on the excellent provision each year. That is only possible with the support and enthusiasm of the Harper Adams staff, both academic and support.

    “We also gain a lot of pleasure in hearing from how previous years’ students have implemented some of their training into their work, and the impact that they have within their local communities. 

    “It is with great pride that we are happy to contribute to such a worthwhile programme, which has both agricultural and personal development significance for the students on the programme.”

    The students from Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda, were selected by the charity partners of the Marshal Papworth Fund, including ADRA Ghana, Hands Around The World, Sliden Africa, Teyapi4Peace and The Leprosy Mission.

    The Marshal Papworth Fund partners with these charities as they are on the ground in country, ensuring that the lead farmers, project managers and school garden managers who have the greatest potential for impact on their communities are put forward for this hands-on sustainable farming course, equipping students with the skills and network of professional connections to help their communities to grow themselves out of hunger.

    Professor Ken Sloan, Harper Adams University Vice-Chancellor, added: “I am humbled each year by the enthusiasm and energy of the participants of this vitally important programme.

    “Through the funding and commitment of the Marshal Papworth Fund, and the dedication, skill and empathy of my colleagues, we are able to make the difference to the livelihoods and capabilities of the participants.

    “In previous years, their engagement has led to the skills and capabilities learned in the UK being shared and extended to many members of the communities in which our participants live and work.  I am confident that this will continue to be the case this year.

    “This makes a significant contribution to the Globally-Connected goal in the Harper Adams 2030 Strategic Plan, Together We Will Make the Difference.”

    Sandra Lauridsen, co-ordinator of the Marshal Papworth Fund, said: “After working with these students on the online element of this course earlier in the year, it was wonderful to finally meet them all and welcome them to their home for the next ten weeks.

    “The induction of this cohort of scholars is a time of great excitement for everyone involved with the Marshal Papworth Fund as we know the impact our previous graduates have had on their communities when they return home.”

    “When the late Marshal Papworth bequeathed a legacy to set-up the Fund, he had hoped that a handful of farmers would benefit from the scholarships; to now be welcoming our 260th student over a 23-year history is quite incredible.

    “We are used to being able to head to the shops and pick up whatever we want, but across Africa and other developing countries, households largely must grow what they want to eat, or rely on local markets with an often-unreliable supply of foods. To equip communities with the skills to farm more efficiently and productively is a powerful thing, with many knock-on effects including enabling children to access more education and helping improve employment outcomes for young people.”

    The Marshal Papworth Fund provides scholarships for students from developing countries, including year-long Masters MSc scholarships to leading UK agricultural universities and colleges, and this bespoke 10-week short course, developed with Harper Adams University. By the time that this course completes, 260 students will have been educated at UK agricultural universities as part of the Marshal Papworth Fund scholarship schemes.

    To find out more about supporting the Marshal Papworth Fund, please contact Sandra Lauridsen on 01733 961024 or email for more information. 

    You can also visit the fund’s new website at 

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