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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment
Staff image of Yelitza  Colmenarez

Yelitza Colmenarez Director CABI Brazil Centre and Regional Coordinator for the Plantwise Programme - Latin America and the Caribbean

T: +1 868 662 4173


CABI, UNESP-Fazenda Experimental Lageado, FEPAF (Escritorio da CABI) Rua Dr. Jose Barbosa de Barros 1780 Fazenda Experimental Lageado CEP: 18.610-307 Botucatu, São Paulo, Brazil

Dr Colmenarez started working at CABI in 2005, based in CABI’s Switzerland centre as Project Scientist until 2007 when she moved to CABI’s Trinidad and Tobago centre as Coordinator, Sustainable Crop & Pest Management.

Currently she is based at CABI’s South America centre in Brazil acting as the Centre Director and Plantwise Regional Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean. She is responsible for member country relations and business development, contributing to the development of goals, objectives and a business plan to promote the overall achievement of CABI’s mission within the region.

Dr Colmenarez is trained as an Agricultural Engineer with a masters and PhD in Plant Protection by UNESP-FCA. She is a specialist in Sustainable Production, working with International Development projects on the Biological Control of arthropods and plant diseases, Biopesticides (Entomopathogenic viruses and bacteria), using participatory approaches to agricultural extension and research. She is heavily involved in plant protection techniques, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Integrated Diseases Management (IDM) approaches. She has experience implementing these techniques and those of sustainable agricultural practices on cotton, corn, potato, coffee, tropical fruits and vegetable production. She also works closely with farmers on the use of participatory learning approaches to ensure they have the tools and knowledge to grow better crops in a sustainable way.

She has been actively involved in the development and implementation of a number of development cooperation projects, working with local partners from government, research, extension and farmers in Latin America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama Suriname and Venezuela) and the Caribbean (Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kid & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Sta. Lucia and Dominica). 

She is currently representing CABI in the International Organization of Biological Control acting as the president of the Neotropical Sub Region (IOBC-NTRS).

Project image: Controlling Japanese knotweed in Great Britain

Managing invasive Madagascar rubbervine in Brazil

Invasion by the alien plant Madagascar rubbervine is endangering native flora and fauna in northeastern Brazil. In the Caatinga area, the endemic Carnaúba palm, with its highly valued wax, has come under threat. CABI, in collaboration with Brazilian counterparts, is seeking to evaluate the rust Maravalia...
Project image: Controlling Japanese knotweed in Great Britain

Rescuing and restoring the native flora of Robinson Crusoe Island

Robinson Crusoe Island, part of the Juan Fernández Archipelago in Chile, is under threat from invasive species. So action needs to be taken. As part of a larger management programme for the whole Archipelago, a team from CABI will help conserve and re-establish native species on the island. In the long term...