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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

MAS ICM students of 2018

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The 2018 MAS in ICM participants were officially welcomed to Switzerland during an opening ceremony at Delémont in March, 2018.

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Mohammed Sherif Abubakari


I am a plant doctor in the Mion district of northern Ghana. I hold an MPhil in Crop Science and a BSc in Agricultural Technology (Agronomy) from the University for Development Studies, Ghana. I have worked both in the private and the public agricultural sectors for 11 years and was recently involved in limiting the spread and impact of the invasive fall armyworm crop pest in the Mion district. Here, I swiftly intervened and provided treatment and advice to farmers over the 2016/17 production season. I have also facilitated the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to control pests in cowpea production demonstration plots in 2017.

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Ann Bulya



I am a Senior Agriculture Officer with the Department of Production and Extension Services for Kenya’s Kayunga District Local Government, and hold a PGDip in Public Administration and Management from the Uganda Management Institute, Kampala, Uganda.

Through my work I coordinate all agricultural field activities in crops and give technical guidance to field staff in the Kayunga district. In my role as plant doctor and Plantwise supervisor I set-up and monitor plant clinics, organise plant health rallies, provide demonstrations, and establish seed multiplication centres and technology development centres. By doing this, I help to detect, control and monitor the threat and occurrence of pests and diseases of crops in the region.

SONY DSC Class of 2018

Nixon Edson Nyalugwe



I work as an Agriculture Officer with Crop Protection in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development in Malawi and I am also the Plantwise Data Manager in Malawi. I hold a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Malawi, Bunda College of Agriculture. I have worked in Malawi’s agricultural sector for 15 years  where I have helped increase food security and improve rural livelihoods through crop reduction. I have collaborated with local and international partners to increase food security and I wish to initiate several projects regarding sustainable agriculture.

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Ermias Teshome Taffa



As a plant doctor based in Ethiopia’s Oromia Agricultural Research Institute, I have been supporting and closely participating in the Plantwise programme for some years.  I have worked in Ethiopia’s agricultural sector for over 10 years and I have the theoretical and practical skills to bring positive change to directly improve the livelihoods of those who depend on agriculture.

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Francine Lorraine Webb



I am the Senior Plant Health/ Food Safety Officer with the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) in Jamaica. In my position here, I am a plant doctor and tasked with coordinating our plant health programme, where plant samples are sent in from across the island for us to identify pest or disease damage. My unit currently attends to 98 Extension Officers that service almost 200,000 registered farmers. I am constantly challenged with increasing pest problems and concerns for food safety and this is often based on poor pesticide use that results in increased crop loss and health concerns.

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James Muema Daud



I graduated from Egerton University in Njoro, Kenya where I obtained a BSc (Hons) degree in Agriculture in 2000. Since then I have worked for the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, various agro input suppliers and finally as an Agricultural Extension Officer for the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture. Since joining the Plantwise programme as a cluster coordinator in 2013, I have set up four plant clinics with two trained plant doctors per clinic providing advice and making a difference to Kenyan farmers.  

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Mahesh Handiganala Munireddappa



I am qualified as a Plantwise master trainer to train youths in rural areas as plant doctors. Currently, I am also studying for a PhD in Resistance Management Strategies of the Pink bollworm in cotton. I am also involved in implementing the DESEE Force (Digitally Empowered Self-Employed Extension Force) concept through Plantwise/ Tene-ag in India.  Through a fascination with insects I took up entomology for my postgraduate studies and am now interested in pest management.

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Melanie Mukashimwe



I work as a research technician for the Rwanda Agriculture Board. I hold a BSc in Plant Biotechnology from INES Ruhengeri University. I have experience working with Rwandan farmers on plant protection to increase yields and provide food security for the region. I am currently a plant doctor and data manager for the Plantwise programme in Rwanda’s northern zone, where I have the opportunity to support smallholder farmers to make knowledge based decisions to increase yields.

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Thi Kim Ngan Nguyen



I hold an MSc in Plant Protection and am currently employed as a lecturer at the Southern Agriculture College Tan My Chanh community, Vietnam. As a plant doctor I support farmers in the Mekong River Delta to improve their agricultural methods .

Through the Plantwise programme I help farmers understand their crops and better their farming practices to get the highest possible benefit out of their fields while protecting their health and that of consumers.

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Rajeshkanna Sreesparalingam


Sri Lanka

I am currently the Assistant Director of Agriculture
(Research), RARDC in Sri Lanka. I hold an MSc in Environmental Science from the University of Peradeniya and have qualified as a master trainer through the Plantwise programme. I am an expert in plant protection research, especially in entomology and nematology, as well as organic farming and environmental conservation through eco-friendly management of pests. 

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Tiwonge Gondwe



I am an agronomist at the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Zambia and hold a BSc in Agricultural Sciences. For four years I have been working with rural communities to improve their livelihoods through increased agricultural productivity. I operate in Chibombo, central Zambia, which is home to over 45,000 small scale farmers. In this region,  adaptation to climate change is vital to secure agricultural growth, food security and poverty reduction.

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Ruth Buteme



I am currently studying for a PGDip in Project Planning and Management at the Uganda Management Institute. I hold a BSc in Agricultural Science and Entrepreneurship from Uganda Christian University. As a plant doctor I provide crop advice and diagnostic services for farmers within Mukono central division  at the Department of Agricultural and Biological Sciences at Uganda Christian University.

Managing the invasive threat to Europe’s forests

Over the last few decades, European trees and forests have experienced dramatic losses caused by introduced non-native invasive pests and pathogens. As part of an international project, CABI is developing cost-effective and environmentally friendly tools for the prevention, detection and control of the invasive threats to Europe’s forests. >>

Biological control of lesser calamint

Lesser calamint is an aromatic perennial herb that has been introduced to New Zealand from Europe. Currently present on the east coast of the North Island, lesser calamint is considered an emerging weed; it is affecting desirable pasture species and having negative economic impacts. CABI is conducting field surveys and searching for natural... >>

Biological control of the Spotted wing Drosophila - Drosophila suzukii

Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae), a fruit fly from East Asia, is now a serious economic pest of soft fruits and berries across Europe, the Americas and North Africa. In this project we are focusing on finding natural enemies (parasitoids) of the pest to introduce into Europe. This involves surveys for parasitoids where it... >>

Integrated weed management in Europe

Weeds are ubiquitous and cause substantial yield losses across all arable and horticultural land. The goal of this European-wide project is to optimise the efficacy, applicability and use of environmentally friendly weed control measures that can replace or complement current chemical control methods. >>

Restoring grasslands of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Halting and reversing land degradation is one of the biggest challenges to meeting the targets set by the Sustainable Development Goals. This project aims to assess the effects of grassland degradation on soil functions on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau and determine whether manipulation of plant functional diversity can accelerate the restoration of... >>

GIZ Crop Protection Baseline Study

Pests and diseases often limit how much smallholder famers can produce. They affect crops both pre and post-harvest by reducing their value or making them unsafe for human consumption. Farmers try to reduce losses through a range of techniques, some of which have human or environmental health impacts. This project aims to understand and report on... >>

Beneficial nematodes to control rootworms in European maize production

The western corn rootworm is a major invasive maize pest in North America and Europe. Control options become more and more limited as problematic pesticides are being phased out. 10 years of joint efforts in research and development by academic, legislative and commercial partners have led to a nematode-based biological control solution for this... >>