President and chair of local organising committee
Makumba is the Director of the Department of Agricultural Research Services in Malawi’s Ministry of Agriculture. He holds a PhD in Soil Sciences from Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. Prior to his current post, he worked as a National Research Coordinator for Soils and Agricultural Engineering and as a Station Manager at the Chitedze Agricultural Research Station.
Pankuku is an experienced food technologist with a strong background in agri- and agro-processing. She is conversant with both national and international food standards, and a specialist in food processing and value addition, new product development, recipe formulations, quality management systems, food safety, nutrition, enterprise and proposal development, and project management.
Pankuku is the current Board Chairperson for the Root and Tuber Crops Development Trust (RTCDT) in Malawi, a non-profit organization that is spearheading the development of a vibrant RTC industry through facilitation of dialogue among partners and institutions, coordinating and market and supply linkages within the entire value chain and enhancing innovations.
Mwenye is a post-doctoral potato pathologist working with the International Potato Center, in Lilongwe Malawi. His work focuses primarily on building of partners capacity in a Public Private Partnership approach, in alignment with CIP’s strategic programs and the CGIAR Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) priorities.
Mwenye is a Malawian national, holding a PhD in Agriculture from University of the Free State, South Africa and a MSc. in Agriculture. His top priorities are to: i) support the implementation of client-oriented models for rapid access to quality seed; ii) participate in the promotion and development of adapted seed potato technologies and business models for actors along the seed potato value chain; and iii) develop, validate and apply research in seed quality maintenance, potato agronomy and Integrated Crop Management (ICM) technologies.
Northern Africa Representative; Domiatec Agri-Group, Egypt
Mahmoud el Tanbouly has a master’s degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management for Horticultural Exporting Crops as well as a PhD in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. He has worked in the agricultural private sector for more than 24 years with focus on seed potato business, exporting and processing of potato crop.
He has worked as R&D Director for seed potato at Domiatec Group in Egypt. Domiatec Group is one of the leading companies in imported seed potato from EU countries to the Egyptian market and is also the biggest seed potato organisation in the Middle East and North Africa for imported seed potato.
(TARI Tanzania), East and Central Africa representative
Mtunda (PhD), is a plant breeder and principal agricultural researcher working in her home country Tanzania. Kiddo has over 20 years of research experience in technology development to improve the productivity of root crops and testing the technologies with farmers. Over time, she has accumulated vast experience in root crops seed systems.
Mtunda has led teams in developing, evaluating, and selecting new cassava and sweetpotato varieties, which resulted in the official release of nine cassava and six sweetpotato varieties in Tanzania. While working under TARI, Kiddo has been actively involved in the development of seed systems of root and tuber crops in Tanzania collaborating closely with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), the International Potato Center (CIP), the Tanzania Official Seed Certification Institute (TOSCI), and other key stakeholders in the seed industry.
Southern Africa Representative
Xaba is the Transformation Manager for Potatoes SA. She has an Agricultural qualification from the University of Natal and a BCOM degree from UNISA. She has also obtained her Master’s degree in Sustainable Agriculture from the University of the Free State. Prior to joining Potatoes SA, she was the Acting KZN Provincial Manager for the National Development Agency where her mandate was poverty alleviation through giving funds to deserving communities throughout KZN. She also spent several years with the sugar industry as a Grower Development Manager, where she was dealing with the emerging farmers, ensuring that they acquire the necessary skills to guarantee sustainability. She is also currently serving on the Western Cape’s commodity approach as the chairperson of the Vegetable Commodity Projects Approach Committee which handles the distribution of funds to deserving farmers.
NRCRI, Nigeria, West Africa Representative
Omodamiro is a research scientist in Food Science and Technology-Food Chemistry & Root/Tuber Processing. She is an experienced and accomplished food scientist with over 19 years of experience in scientific research on food product development, particularly innovative foods.
Omodamiro is a staff member of the Biotechnology and Product Development Department in National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, under Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Nigeria. She progressed from the rank of pupil research officer to Chief Research Officer (CRO). She is the coordinator of Product Development Programme and the head of Intellectual Property Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO) of NRCRI. She is a Fellow of the prestigious African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (FAWARD) and consistent member of African Potato Association (APA) for many years and current project coordinator of Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) Umudike chapter.
International Potato Center (CIP) Representative
Barker leads an innovative portfolio of research and development projects designed to intensify, diversify, and strengthen the resilience of agri-food systems with potato-related technologies. He is responsible for setting priorities that respond to changing country, regional and global demands and that contribute to the International Potato Center (CIP) and CGIAR long-term strategic objectives and goals.
With over 30 years of experience in agricultural R&D in both the public and private sector, Ian’s background includes serving as the Head of Agricultural Partnerships for The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) based in Switzerland. He has also worked as Senior Principal Scientific Officer and Head Immunological and Molecular Methods Team, Food and Environmental Research Agency (FERA) in Sand Hutton, UK. Prior to joining FERA, Ian worked for CIP between 2006 and 2011 as Senior Virologist and Seed System Lead. Ian Barker is the program leader of the Global Potato Agri-Food System Program.
Profile summary: As of August 2019, Ian Barker leads an innovative portfolio of research and development projects designed to intensify, diversify and strengthen the resilience of agri-food systems with potato-related technologies. He is responsible for setting priorities that respond to changing country, regional and global demands and that contribute to CIP and CGIAR long-term strategic objectives and goals.
With over 20 years of experience in agricultural R&D in both the public and private sector, Ian’s background includes serving as the Head of Agricultural Partnerships for The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) based in Switzerland. He has also worked as Senior Principal Scientific Officer and Head Immunological and Molecular Methods Team, Food and Environmental Research Agency (FERA) in Sand Hutton, UK.
He holds a PhD from Exeter University and a BSc in plant sciences from Wye College, London University.
Outgoing President of the APA
Bucagu is an Associate Professor of Agroforestry and System Analysis. He is current Deputy Director General of Rwanda Agriculture Board in charge of Agriculture Development at Rwanda Agriculture Board. At RAB, he is responsible for implementation of major agricultural programmes such as CIP (Crop Intensification Programme), meant to drive agricultural productivity towards transforming agriculture sector into a sustainable market-oriented sector. RAB hosted the 11th Triennial APA Conference in Kigali under Bucagu’s leadership.
Over the last 15 years, his research has focused on smallholder farming systems in Rwanda with particular emphasis on exploring the diversity of mixed agroforestry-based farming systems within different Agro-ecological zones and identifying the role of agroforestry in addressing problems related to soil nutrient deficiencies and poor quality of livestock feeds. Emphasis is accorded to issues regarding resource use and exploring options for optimizing resource use on farms.