Research Interests

As a Breeder, I am interested in crop breeding, genetics and molecular biology and have successfully developed a new variety of rice called the New Rice for Africa (NERICA). This is based on the introgression of traits of the traditional robust African rice varieties (O.glaberrima) with the productive Asian varieties (O. sativa). This true interspecific hybrid has important morpho-agronomic traits for weed suppression and higher levels of resistance/tolerance to major biotic and abiotic stresses. NERICA also gives higher yield and taste good, characteristics uniquely suited to poor African rice farmers. I am currently the Executive Secretary of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, where I coordinate continent-wide research in both the biophysical and social sciences in collaboration with a range of stakeholders involved in agricultural research for development in Africa. I am also interested in food security and rural development. The Sub-Saharan Africa Challenge Programme which I manage at FARA aims to substantially increase the impact of agricultural research on livelihoods of smallholder farmers in sub Saharan Africa by transforming the way sectors and institutions engage in research. The transformation entails testing and catalyzing wide scale use of innovation systems approaches to agricultural research for development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 25: Plant Biology

Secondary Section

Section 26: Genetics