The 2017 MAS in ICM participants were officially welcomed to Switzerland during an opening ceremony at Delémont in March, 2017.
Interviews with the class of 2017
Class of 2017 biographies
Michael Afranie - Ghana
I have been working with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture since 2010 as an assistant regional officer in Ghana’s Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate. I am also a regional data manager, plant clinic assistant, regional coordinator, trainer and plant doctor. I hold a BSc degree in Plant Science from Olabisi Onabanjo University(OOU), Nigeria.
My job entails coordination of plant clinic activities; crop pest and disease surveying and management; training of farmers and agricultural extension officers in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and food safety and technical backstopping on plant protection and regulatory services activities.
I am also involved in monitoring and regulating the activities of the pesticide and fertilizer industry as well as providing training to pesticide, fertilizer and seed dealers and users on good agricultural practices.
Emily Korir Ego - Kenya
I am a crop officer working for the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in the Department of Agriculture, Kiambu County, Kenya. I am also a Plantwise cluster coordinator. I hold a BSc degree in Agriculture (Agronomy option) from Egerton University, Njoro Campus, Kenya.
Before joining the Ministry, I worked in a parastatal (Kerio Valley Development Authority) as an agronomist for seven years. My duties and responsibilities include: Surveillance, monitoring and reporting of migratory pests; provision of extension services; clinic coordination and operation and training staff and farmers.
These services are aimed at improving the food security and economic well-being of farmers.
Haritha Nimalananda - Sri Lanka
I serve as an assistant director of agriculture (Development) in the Plant Protection Service, Department of Agriculture, Sri Lanka. Within this role, I am responsible for the development programme in plant protection with special emphasis on Integrated Pest Management in major agricultural crops using environmentally friendly technologies. Over the last few years, my work time has been mostly dedicated to the CABI Plantwise programme in Sri Lanka, working closely with CABI staff.
Within Plantwise, I work as a master trainer, training extension staff as plant doctors and actively participating in the practical sessions. I am also engaged in organising, managing, guiding and supervising the operation of plant clinics across the country.
I hold a BSc degree in agriculture from the Ruhuna University and an MSc degree in Plant Protection Technology from the Peradeniya University in Sri Lanka.
Francisca Mwanda - Zambia
I am involved in Plantwise Zambia as a trainer of plant doctors and in the preparation of disease and pest management decision guides in form of fact sheets. I also verify diseases from plant samples presented to the plant pathology laboratory disease clinic by plant doctors.
I have been working for eight years at the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute as a plant pathologist under the plant pathology section. My day-to-day work involves inspecting farmers’ fields, collecting diseased samples, diagnosing the diseases and advising farmers on how best to manage and control plant diseases and pests.
I hold a BSc degree in Microbiology from the University of Zambia and an MSc degree in Project Management from the Copperbelt University of Zambia.
Henry Msatilomo - Malawi
I am the chief agriculture extension officer in the Department of Agricultural Extension Services in the Malawi’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development. My job involves delivery of extension services aimed at improving food security and economic well-being of farmers. I hold a BSc degree from Bunda College of the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
In 2014, the Ministry appointed me to coordinate the Agriculture Sector Wide Approach Support Project which is a Multi Donor Trust Fund. I have worked in the ministry for 15 years in different capacities (agriculture officer, district agriculture development officer and chief agriculture development officer) interpreting policies at district and national level.
I am also the deputy national coordinator for Plantwise in Malawi.
Purnima Chhetri - Nepal
Since October 2016, I have worked as a plant protection officer in the Pesticide Registration and Management Division under the Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture Development, Nepal. I received a BSc degree in Agriculture in 2009 and an MSc degree in Agriculture (Horticulture) in 2012 from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.
Previously, I was in the District Agriculture Development office in Bhaktapur as a subject matter specialist responsible for crop protection activities such as sericulture, apiculture, mushroom cultivation and pesticide management in the district.
I also work as a plant doctor conducting regular plant clinics for the CABI-led Plantwise programme in the district.
Alex Semakula - Uganda
I am an agricultural extension officer with the Department of Production and Extension, Kayunga District Local Government, Uganda.
I have BSc degree in Agriculture from Makerere University, Uganda. Since 2011, I have been delivering agricultural advisory services and providing training to rural farmers in the areas of agronomy, agribusiness and pest and disease control.
For Plantwise, I am a trained plant doctor, operating mobile plant clinics and plant health rallies in Kayunga District, and a trainer of trainers (TOT) for plant doctors (modules I and II). I am also involved in piloting Plantwise ICT for agriculture as an extension methodology aimed at bringing agricultural information closer to farmers, using e-plant clinics and other mobile application platforms.
My role also involves providing support for the development of agricultural extension messages (Pest Management Decision Guides) for crop pests and diseases, and ensuring harmonization and validation of plant clinic data as well as back stopping (M&E) of plant clinic operations in Uganda.
Eunice Sakong - Kenya
I work for Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries in the Department of Agriculture, and am currently deployed to Machakos County as the crops officer at the sub-county level.
I hold a BSc degree in Agriculture and Home Economics from Egerton University, Kenya and I have 12 years work experience in the agriculture sector.
My duties and responsibilities involve coordination, technical support and follow-up on crop related projects as well as the provision of extension services aimed at improving food security and economic well-being of farmers.
I am also a cluster coordinator for the Plantwise programme
Chea Ho - Cambodia
I currently work as a technical officer and researcher in the Department of Plant Protection Sanitary and Phytosanitary, GDA, Phnom Penh. This role involves conducting research, providing extension services and the development of extension materials. I also supervise student research projects.
I hold a BSc degree in Agronomy (specialising in Plant Protection) from the Royal University of Agriculture, Cambodia.
Within the Plantwise Program for Cambodia, I am a national data manager responsible for entering and analysing data, checking diagnoses and recommendations and monitoring and evaluating plant clinics.
Shelia Namuwaya - Uganda
I hold a BSc degree in Environment Management from Makerere University, Uganda. I also have an MSc degree in Geographical Information Systems with a specialisation in Land Degradation and Conservation from the University of Twente, the Netherlands.
Currently, I am a lecturer and coordinator of masters’ degree students in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Sciences in the Faculty of Science and Technology, Uganda Christian University Mukono. I am also a plant doctor.
Maurice Okeno - Kenya
I currently work as a county crops development officer in Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Siaya County. My responsibilities include: Designing and coordinating the implementation of crop development programmes in the county; capacity-building and backstopping on crop management, and development and disseminating crop production information; assessing food requirements, deficits, post-harvest losses and production trends.
I hold a BSc degree in Agriculture (Agricultural Economics) from the University of Nairobi.
I am also a plant doctor and county desk officer for Plantwise.
Teresia Mbugua - Kenya
I have been working with Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries since 2008 to promote agriculture business. I hold a BSc degree in Agribusiness from the University of Nairobi (UoN), Kenya.
My day-to-day activities involve providing technical backstopping to extension staff and farmers on sound crop management aspects geared towards business-oriented farming. This includes, business planning, enterprise analysis and selection, risk analysis and management to reduce farm ‘busyness’ and improve on farm business.
In October 2015, I joined Plantwise as a plant doctor. In the plant clinic, I assist farmers with disease and pest diagnosis and management.