The 2020 MAS in ICM participants were officially welcomed to Switzerland during an opening ceremony at Delémont in February, 2020.
Class of 2020 biographies
Konjit Feleke Belete - Ethiopia
I work as an Entomologist in the Plant Protection Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopia. I have a BSc in Crop production from Jimma University and an MSc in Crop Protection from Ambo University, Ethiopia. I have 10 years of work experience, during which I have been involved in conducting field surveys for the detection and identification of insect pests and providing recommendations for their management. I also work as a National Coordinator for Plantwise and acted as a national trainer.
I believe that this MAS ICM course will provide a milestone in my career, along with invaluable experiences that will allow me to become a successful, innovative professional. Participation in the MAS ICM will help me to enrich my knowledge and professional development, filling in knowledge gaps so I can contribute to developing the agriculture sector in Ethiopia.
Jayaka Lawrence Kipandula - Malawi
I am an Agriculture Officer responsible for Crop Protection within the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development in Salima District Agriculture Office, Malawi. I have a BSc in Agriculture, from the University of Malawi and over 15 years of work experience, including a role as Plantwise Cluster Coordinator. As a crop scientist I have practical experience in applied on-farm crop protection activities and I am an advocate of sustainable agriculture development in the face of climate change.
The MAS in ICM course will help to provide solutions to plant health problems affecting the communities in Malawi. This opportunity has come at the right time, as the country is seeking solutions in dealing with these challenges. I have the passion for helping rural communities in making sure they produce more, thereby making them food and nutrition secure through reduced crop losses caused by various plant health problems.
Josphine Carlisle Wanjiru - Kenya
I am a Senior Agricultural Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Kenya, with a BSc in Agriculture and Home Economics from Egerton University. Within my current position I am acting as sub-county Agribusiness and Marketing Officer addressing all agribusiness issues in Kiambu County.
The ICM course will enable me to address most of the challenges facing crop production in my roles as a sub-county Agribusiness officer, cluster coordinator and plant doctor.
My motivation is drawn from my quest to be more enlightened and endowed with all aspects of Integrated Crop Management to effectively offer my services to improve rural livelihoods, to empower our people to exploit opportunities in crop production and realize their farm's full potential.
Nicolas Uwitonze - Rwanda
I have a bachelor's degree in Agriculture Extension Education from the University of Alexandria, Egypt. I have gained over four years of experience in the agricultural sector in Rwanda, as well as from professional training, short courses and workshops in Rwanda and other countries.
I have been working as the Climate Smart Agriculture and Extension Advisor for the USAID funded "Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze Activity”. I am also a trained Plant Doctor and an active member of the National Taskforce for Fall Army Worm.
Participating in the MAS-ICM, I hope, will increase my knowledge and skills that will enable and motivate further contributions to plant health clinics, plant health rallies and integration of climate smart and nutrition sensitive agriculture practices into training program and materials with the aim of promoting Integrated Crop Management, to contribute to increasing food security and farm incomes, towards Sustainable Agriculture in Rwanda.
Esther Ssettaala Nakibuuka - Uganda
I am a District Agricultural Officer in Mubende District of Uganda. As part of my work I have been a Plant Doctor for six years. I have a BSc in Agricultural Land Use Management from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
The MAS ICM programme provides an opportunity to build capacity that will be immediately implemented in my area of jurisdiction and beyond. I strongly believe that on completion of the MAS ICM course, I would have the right knowledge needed to make the most appropriate decisions on viable agricultural land use ventures, scientifically sound, realistic and feasible solutions to nature and farmers.
Muhammad Aslam - Pakistan
I am currently working as an Agriculture Officer in the Agriculture Department of the Government of Punjab, Pakistan. I have been a Plant Doctor since 2014. I hold a BSc in Agriculture and Resource Economics and an MSc in Agricultural Economics from the University of Agriculture Faisalbad, Punjab, Pakistan.
The major goal of my job is to transfer new technology from the institutes to the fields in order to increase the yield of the country.
Pakistan is an agri-based economy. About 70% population are directly, or indirectly, reliant on agriculture. Participation in the MAS-ICM will be very helpful to enable me, as an Agricultural Officer to support this large population.
Shoba Tanya Julie Marimuthu - Trinidad & Tobago/South Africa
I am currently a Field Officer II in the Quality Assurance Department of NAMDEVCO (The National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation) of Trinidad and Tobago. I have been involved in the development of the Plantwise Programme at NAMDEVCO.
This opportunity will enable me grow my technical skills and scientific background in the area of lntegrated Crop Management and consequently help to develop the broad and integrated vision of agricultural food production and environmental sustainability. I believe this course of study will be a great contributor toward my necessary professional growth and development.
Jordan Sichona - Zambia
I am an Agriculture Officer with the Ministry of Agriculture, Zambia and have over 11 years work experience. I have a BSc in Agriculture with Education from Mulungushi University, Kabwe, Central Province, Zambia.
I have been a Plant Doctor for six years.
Acquisition of knowledge through the MAS ICM programme will not only benefit myself but also other stakeholders. I will be able to train and contribute to building the capacity of my fellow officers and farmers groups e.g. women's club, cooperatives, camp extension officers, through training and extension work that targets food security, poverty alleviation and income generation.
Barbra Clesentia Nagaba - Uganda
I am currently an Agricultural Officer in Kassanda District of Uganda, and a practicing farmer. I have over seven years experience, which include four years with the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries. I have a BSc in Agriculture from Makere University, Kampala, Uganda.
I have been a senior Plant Doctor since 2013, being a plant doctor has helped to widen my knowledge of pests, diseases and other issues related to diagnosis and appropriate management recommendations.
The MAS ICM course is very relevant to the sector which I serve in; especially the topics of soil management, crop nutrition, and seed selection to mention a few. I view this as an opportunity to build my career and enrich my knowledge of the profession so I can contribute immensely to the development of the district as well my country, Uganda.
Stephen Aidoo - Ghana
I am currently working for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture with specific duties as a Senior Agricultural Officer, Plant Protection & Regulatory Services Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture of Ghana. I have a BSc in Agricultural Technology from the University for Development Studies, Nyanpkala-Tamale, Northern Region of Ghana.
I hope my participation in the MAS ICM programme will help me to achieve and utilize my full potential in the area of Crop and Environmental Management. It will also equip me with the requisite knowledge and skills in the formulation of government policies and planning to ensure comprehensive application of Integrated Crop Management principles to achieve environmentally sustainable crop production in Ghana, Africa and the world at large.