Marshal Papworth scholarship recipient Kamanda Godfrey studied MSc Horticulture (Crop Production) at Writtle University College. He is now employed by the Uganda government, in the Ministry of Agriculture.
What led you to apply for a Marshal Papworth Scholarship?
It was a scholarship with specific considerations for agricultural and land-based courses for students in developing countries to study in the UK, and this fit well in my career aspirations. Also, it would be difficult to fund the course on my own since I come from a humble farming family. I needed to acquire knowledge that can be used to support Uganda's smallholder famers to improve their livelihood through agriculture.
What memories do you have of your time at Writtle?
- Very welcoming and friendly lecturers that are willing to help at all times.
- Lecturers who are aware of the current agricultural industry demands, including real practical horticultural skills.
- Good practical sessions for training on horticulture/agricultural, real techniques and challenges including visiting industrial players in the agriculture in the United Kingdom for example G'Fresh, Ching foods among others to understand the supply chains and opportunities available in the horticultural industry the United Kingdom.
- Beautiful landscaping of the University compounds that makes life so attractive, conducive to live and study.
- Passionate professors for Masters degree courses that are approachable and very knowledgeable in the horticulture industry.
- Good and delicious morning breakfasts at the gardens at Writtle University College with some nice music that encourages a person to start the day happy.
- Good free space and gym that is accessible to keep fit and ready to enjoy the evenings at the University and of course many other amenities.
- Less congested University campus.
- Easy access to Chelmsford city with a University free bus.
Where did you work after leaving Writtle?
Immediately when I left Writtle, I got employed with the Ministry of Agriculture to support smallholder farmers resettling on their farms from refugee camps to learn and practice marketoriented vegetable production. This is a government funded project with support from government of Japan and World Bank.
As a lead technical person in the project, I am tasked to implement the government project with support from Japan's Government and the World Bank to provide capacity, train agricultural extension officers and smallholder farmers modern horticultural production knowledge and skills. The project is valued at 5.7 million United States Dollars (USD) supporting over 9000 smallholder farmers of about 14 acres of land.
How did the course you studied at Writtle help your career?
Writtle trained me on writing concepts or proposals and it has helped me to write various concepts for the government of Uganda and development partners including the World Bank, Japan's government, IFAD to support smallholder farmers to practice agriculture for food security and income.
While at Writtle University College, I learnt skills in vegetable production including growing sweet pepper and flowers in a controlled glass house. That knowledge of raising seedlings has helped me to transfer technical skills to the agricultural extension officers in Uganda.
The postharvest handling course for horticulture helped me understand the cold chain system of fruits and vegetables, hazard analysis critical control points in the UK-fresh produce and it has been instrumental to deliver trainings on post-harvest handling and food safety in Uganda.
The information has helped me get employment as a technical person in the Ministry of Agriculture in Uganda.