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Meet the agricultural professionals who participated in the 2016 MAS in ICM programme. They were officially welcomed to Switzerland during an opening ceremony which took place at Delémont. To mark the successful completion of this years' course, a graduation ceremony took place in November, 2016, at Interlarken, Switzerland .

Interviews with some members of the class of 2016

Class of 2016 biographies

Adhikari Debraj

Adhikari Debraj - Nepal

I work as a Plant Protection Officer for Nepal’s Ministry of Agriculture Development in the Department of Agriculture. I received a BSc. Ag in 2006 and a MSc. Ag (Horticulture) in 2009 from Tribhuwan University, Nepal. I am currently a Subject Matter Specialist in the District Agriculture Development Office in Kavre and have an overall responsibility for crop protection and pesticide management in the district.

I have been involved in some research activities such as in floriculture (the rose), and pests of citrus (the fruit fly). I have also been involved in the surveillance of pests especially fruit fly in sweet orange orchards in Sindhuli district. I am an IPM facilitator and have conducted Farmer Field Schools on IPM for various crops.

I am a Plantwise plant doctor and a Cluster Coordinator of plant clinics in Kathmandu. I have also been involved in preparing Pest Management Decision Guides (PMDGs).

Mooya Nzila

Mooya Nzila - Zambia

I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies from the Zambian Open University, and a Diploma in Export Horticulture from Natural Resources Development College – Zambia Export Growers Association (NRDC/ZEGA) Training Trust. I recently completed my Master of Arts in Trade, Development and International Relations from the Zambian Open University. I have been working for Ministry of Agriculture in Zambia for 13 years as a Technical Research Assistant and Plant Health Inspector.

I work for the Plant Quarantine and Phytosanitary Service (PQPS) which is a specialized unit under the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI). I also lecture part-time at the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC) in the Horticulture Department. For Plantwise, I am a national trainer assisting in training plant doctors and supporting plant clinic data management processes.

I am also a member of the Plantwise validation team.

Erick Haraman

Erick Haraman - Malawi

I am the Deputy Programme Manager for Kasungu Agriculture Development Division (ADD). My job involves delivery of extension services aimed at improving the food security and economic well-being of farmers. I hold a BSc degree in Crop Sciences from Bunda College of the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Before being promoted to my current position, I was with the Department of Crop Development within Malawi’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development for 13 years as Chief Crop Protection Officer, where I was involved in surveillance, monitoring and control of migratory pests, development of technical messages and staff training in Integrated Pest Management (IPM). In 2013, I was appointed as National Data Manager for the Plantwise programme in Malawi.

Rukmali Gunapala

Rukmali Gunapala - Sri Lanka

I work on rice pathology research with a special emphasis on disease management at the Rice Research & Development Institute in Sri Lanka. My responsibilities include fungicide testing; developing fungicide recommendations for rice diseases, conducting crop clinics and sample testing. I also assist in coordinating the International Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice (INGER) programme which is a collaborative programme with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines.

I am a master trainer in the permanent crop clinic programme (PCCP) of Sri Lanka, in collaboration with Plantwise, and a member of the CABI mNutrition (Govinet) Programme of Sri Lanka in collaboration with CABI South Asia (India). I train plant doctors for the permanent crop clinic programme and prepare fact sheets and voice messages on rice for the mNutrition programme.

Julius Banda

Julius Banda - Malawi

I am currently a Crop Protection Officer for the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development within the Department of Crop Development in Mzimba District Agriculture Office in Malawi. I hold a BSc degree in Agriculture (Crop Science) obtained from Bunda college of Agriculture.

In my 13 years of work, I have been responsible for planning, implementing, coordinating and monitoring crop protection programmess for the district. Currently, I coordinate Plantwise activities for the district, train plant doctors and validate Plantwise national data.

Jean Pierre Kalisa

Jean Kalisa - Rwanda

I am an agronomist with a BSc degree from Polytechnic Institute of Byumba. I was an Extension agent and Crop Intensification Programme Coordinator for the Rwanda Agriculture Board (Southern Zone).

I have also supported the implementation of Farmer Field Schools on potato and maize in collaboration with FIDA Project (PAPSTA) for the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda.

I am currently a Plantwise officer and National Data Manager for Plantwise at the Rwanda Agriculture Board. I am also a trainer of plant doctors and deliver other modules on monitoring plant clinics performance and preparing Pest Management Decision Guides.

I have also participated in the development of green and yellow lists with Plantwise to help plant doctors and other extension agents identify and manage plant pests in Rwanda.

Mathews Matimelo

Mathews Matimelo - Zambia

I am currently a Principal Agriculture Research Officer at the Zambia Agriculture Research institute (ZARI). I hold a BSc degree in Agriculture Science from the University of Zambia. Working in the Entomology Team at ZARI, I develop Integrated Pest Management packages to control different field and storage pests. I also have experience in apiculture which has enabled me to work with the rural population to use beekeeping as a tool for poverty alleviation and sustainable livelihoods.

In Plantwise, I am part of the team that trains plant doctors, extension staff and farmers in effective and environmentally friendly pest management practices to improve productivity. I am also a National Data Manager.

Michael Kumah

Michael Kumah - Ghana

I have been working with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture since 2011 as an Assistant Regional Officer for the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate. I currently hold a BSc in Agriculture from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.

Some of the major activities I undertake in the Ministry are: coordination of plant clinic activities; crop pest and disease surveillance and management; training farmers and agricultural extension officers in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and food safety; providing technical backstopping on plant protection and regulatory services activities; monitoring and regulating activities in the pesticide/fertilizer industry as well as providing training on good agricultural practices to pesticide/fertilizer and seed dealers and users.

For Plantwise, I am a province data manager, plant clinic coordinator, plant doctor and trainer.

Paul Musa Lahai

Paul Lahai - Sierra Leone

I work for the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI) attached to the Kenema Forestry and Tree Crops Research Centre (KFTCRC) as a Research Officer. I hold a BSc degree in Biological Sciences (Fourah Bay College – University of Sierra Leone) and a Master of Philosophy in Entomology from the University of Ghana, Legon.

My work at SLARI-KFTCRC includes recording the pests of tree crops (cocoa, coffee and oil palm) and developing research proposals for the biology, host range and control of pests. I am a member of the master trainer group and have on several occasions been involved with training plant doctors for Plantwise in Sierra Leone.

Saul Hernandez

Saul Hernandez - Honduras

I hold a BSc in Agricultural Engineering from the University National of Honduras-UNAH and science MSc degree in environmental management from CIPSEM (Dresden Universitat, in Germany). I am currently a lecturer at the Universidad National of Honduras-UNAH where I teach food safety topics.

I work for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in Honduras. My duties include organic agriculture, food safety (Good Agricultural Practices and Good Manufacture Practices), plant health activities (exportations of plants for planting, fruits and vegetables) as well as pesticides inspection.

Stephen Katabaazi

Stephen Katabaazi - Uganda

I hold a BSc degree in Agriculture from Makerere University, Uganda. I am the head of the virology section of laboratories in Ministry of Agriculture in Uganda where I am involved in training farmers on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices, diagnosis of diseases and pests on plant/ plant products and imports, safe disposal of disease infected plants, disease and pest surveillance and the forecasting and cataloguing of major plant pests and diseases affecting crops in Uganda.

I was trained as a plant doctor for the Plantwise programme in 2012. I have worked with rural farmers in diagnosing plant problems and finding appropriate solutions.

Tamrat Tsegaye

Tamrat Tsegaye - Ethiopia

I hold a BSc degree in Horticulture from Jimma University College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Ethiopia and have been an MSc student working on a similar discipline at the same university since 2015.

I am currently working for the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Ethiopia, as an Agronomist within the Department of Extension.

I am responsible for developing production packages consisting of technical procedures for certain economically important crops and implementing training activities.