Project Members

Name Institutesort descending Career Country
Kisetu Nassary Eliakira Tanzania
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Josephine Ongoma Kenya
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Berasain Bernado Argentina
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Ashenafi Gunnabo Hailu

I am a PhD student at Wageningen University and Research, sponsored by N2Africa Project. I was born on 17 January 1983 in Gidole, SNNPR, Ethiopia. I did Bachelor Degree in Biology (2003-2006) and M.Sc. in Applied Microbiology (2001-2011) both at Hawassa University (formerly named Debub University).

I started the current Sandwich PhD study in September 2014. My PhD study focuses on “Understanding the legume genotypes and Rhizobium genotypes interactions in Common bean and Chickpea in Ethiopia”. So far, I investigated the infectiveness and effectiveness of chickpea and common bean nodulating several previous rhizobial collections; isolated new common bean nodulating rhizobia; studying the phylogenetic diversity of both chickpea and common bean nodulating rhizobia (yet to be finished); Chickpea and common bean genotypes imported from ICRISAT India and CIAT Colombia, respectively; the genotypes were multiplied in the greenhouse; and currently running GL x GR experiment in both genotypes and their respective rhizobial strains.

Rhizobia isolation, nodulation and effectiveness test and Genotype by genotype interaction study have been underway in Ethiopia whereas molecular characterization of the rhizobial strains has been underway at Wageningen University and Research in Molecular Biology Lab.

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Kojo Ahiakpa Ghana
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Comfort Ojo

Comfort Tinuade Ojo is one of the Ph.D. candidate with phase 2 of N2 Africa Project. Before joining N2Africa, I was a research supervisor with the Bioscience Centre and Genetic Resource Centre in International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan. My research objective is to explore benefits of inoculating cowpea in Northern Nigeria. I will be investigating those factors that affect the response of cowpea to inoculation. Elite indigenous rhizobia strain that have been proved to be highly effective in providing nitrogen for cowpea will be developed into inoculants that will  be made available to smallholder farmers in Nigeria.

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Isaac Balume

Isaac Balume was former MSc student of N2AFRICA 2011-2013 under Dr. Paul Woomer and Prof. Nancy Karanja supervision at MIRCEN laboratory Nairobi/Kenya. His research topic was on  Assessment of Quality Control in of Inoculants on Common Bean and Soybean in Eastern and Central Africa. 2014 he implemented Rhizobiology protocols as well screening Rhizobia strain in DRC additional to this field work of assessing need to inoculated in various soils types of South Kivu/DRC.

Currently he is enrolled at the University of Hohenheim in Germany for his PhD studies. where he is investigating processes such as Proteolysis and Nitrification under the Nitrogen cycle.

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Esther Chinedu Nigeria
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Allan Ochieng

Allan Ochieng is a PhD student within N2Africa in the second phase and an Assistant Lecturer in the department of Plant Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology in Makerere University, Kampala Uganda. His research is focusing on understanding factors behind the erratic response to inoculation of climbing beans in Uganda, the four chapters of his research will focus on the diversity and enumeration of indigenous rhizobia in the Montane and Mt Elgon high farm lands Agro-ecological zones, checking the competitiveness of the native strains, greenhouse testing of potential strains and field trials of  potential inoculants that can be used by bean farmers to improve productivity which is embedded in the N2Africa objectives.

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Benjamin Dzorgbenyui Ahiabor CSIR Savanna Agricultural Research Institute

Research Scientist/Pastor

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Andrew Farrow GeAgrofía

I am a self-employed consultant at GeAgrofía, and guest researcher Plant Production Systems group, Wageningen University, Wageningen, Netherlands. I provide spatial analytical advisory and technical services, such as environmental characterisation, socio-economic and crop modelling, statistical analysis, partner liaison, and geographical data management.

I previously worked at CIAT where I was the spatial analyst for all CIAT-Africa activities, specialising in spatial analysis of climatic variability and agricultural market chains, priority setting and targeting. I was co-leader of The Global Agricultural Trial Repository and a task force leader (2007-2008) of the Lake Kivu Pilot Learning Site, Sub Saharan Africa Challenge Programme.

The Netherlands
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Aron Othieno IDFC

Aron Othieno is the N2AFrica Field Liaison Officer, Northern Uganda. He is a Soil Scientist with four years of experience in farmer participatory research. Interest is to develop and utilize knowledge in supporting and improving agricultural productivity of rural communities for sustainable livelihood, food security, poverty reduction and good health through working with research institutions, local communities and non-governmental organizations.

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John Ssekamwa IFDC

John Ssekamwa is a Field Liaison officer, Eastern Region, N2 Africa, Uganda. He is a Soil scientist with four years of experience in farmer participatory research and agronomy. John’s interests Improvement of farmers’ livelihoods through deployment of yield enhancing technologies and to deepen my knowledge and analytical skills through interaction with farming communities and researchers  from diverse disciplines.

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Connetie Ayesiga IITA

Is the Business Development Officer, N2Africa Project-Uganda. She is a Social scientist and holds a Masters of Arts in Rural Development from Makerere University with five years of experience in facilitating Business Development Services among smallholder farmers with a focus on Agribusiness, Market Development, farmer organizational development, project implementation and Monitoring and Learning.

Interests: Reading, travelling and working with the vulnerable people

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Eric Doe IITA

Eric Doe is the Business Development Officer (BDO), N2Africa project-Ghana. He holds an MBA in Project Management with a strong agricultural development background from first degree. He is a meticulous BDO who beliefs in team work to deliver great performance. Has over ten (10) years experience working with smallholder farmers and value chains, in agricultural production systems and agribusiness development.

With strong strategic management and stakeholder's engagement skills. He is the unofficial deputy to the country coordinator.

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Shehu Dandago Mahammad IITA

SHEHU MUHAMMAD DANDAGO is working for N2Africa Borno State. He has a BSc (Hon.) degree in Applied Biology, an MSc degree in Agronomy and a Post graduate Diploma in Environmental Management.

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Anthony Raymond Epel IITA

Anthony Raymond Epel is the N2Africa Project-Uganda, Data Analyst. He holds MSc. Research Methods Degree from JKUAT-Kenya. Before joining N2Africa, he was a part-time lecturer at Kyambogo University-Kampala; where he facilitated the teaching of Biometry, Research Methodology and Computer Applications. Prior to that, Anthony was a Research Fellow at International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE-Nairobi)-Biostatistics Unit; where he worked on Analysis of Compositional data from Insect Behavioural Studies. He has worked as a research assistant at (MAAIF)-STATFA project.  He has extensive experience in working with smallholder farmers. At N2Africa, he is responsible for developing / implementing agronomic protocols, management of agronomic trials, data (collection, analyses and management), report writing, training and working with dissemination partners among others.

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Bamuleke Kube IITA D.R. Congo
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Mwantumu Omari IITA

Miss Mwantumu Omari is a career scientist with Msc in Agricultural Economics and BSc in Food Science and technology at Sokoine University of Agriculture. Since 2012 to date, she has been working with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Currently she is working as Business Development Officer under N2Africa Project “Putting Nitrogen Fixation to work for smallholders farmers in Africa. Previously  Mwantumu she was working as  food technologist under CFC program on “Small scale cassava processing and vertical integration of the cassava subsector in Southern and Eastern Africa-Phase II (CFC/FIGG/43)” specifically to monitor, supervise and coordinate cassava processing technologies activities to cassava processors, cassava smallholders farmers and other related actors along the cassava value chain. Mwantumu has experience on working with national and International organization including Kilimo Trust, TAGMARK, SUA, TADENA, and WOPATA in promoting agriculture technologies, income, food and nutrition security to small holder’s farmers in Tanzania.

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Daniel Brain Akakpo IITA

Daniel Brain Akakpo is a PhD candidate at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and conducting his field research in northern Ghana. His research is under the N2Africa project and is captioned “Grain legume residues as a livestock feed resource for smallholders in northern Ghana” The research is aimed at understanding the roles and functions of grain legume residues in livestock farming systems and identify options to improve their utilisation by smallholders in northern Ghana. This we hope to achieve through field experimentation, laboratory analyses and social surveys.

Before joining N2Africa, Brain was a research associate at IITA on the project “Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation” (Africa RISING). Brain enjoys cooking, travelling and working on the field with farmers.

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Osman Fudailu IITA Ghana
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Joseph Abikoye IITA Nigeria
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Jajua Mohammed IITA

Mohammed Jajua has a degree in Agriculture (Major Agricultural Extension, Minor Agronomy) University of Maiduguri Borno State Nigeria. Msc in view.                                

His function in N2Africa Borno Project is to oversee IITA’s field trials and seed production activities, to conduct trials and plan demonstration fields, to supervise out-growers and community seed producers on cowpea, groundnut and soybeans and to train lead farmers, seed producers and community seed producers on quality seed production and processing.

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Adilson Massimane IITA Mozambique
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Robert Atawura IITA

Robert Atawura is the Field Liaison officer (FLO), N2Africa Project-Ghana. He holds a BA in Environment and Resource Management with over four (4) years of experience in working with smallholder farmers in the area of training farmers on FBO development, and delivering of Agricultural and Rural development services with a business orientation and market access focus towards the socio-economic empowerment and poverty reduction. Robert enjoys working with smallholder farmers and travelling.

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Abubakari Mzanda IITA

Abubakari Mzanda works with N2Africa project-Tanzania as Data Management Officer; he holds MSc. Agronomy degree from Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA)-Tanzania. He has been working with National Agriculture Research (NARs) as Grain Legume Agronomist for 5 years from 2009 to 2014 before joining with IITA in 2014. He has over 5 years’ experience on working with smallholder farmers in various farming systems. At N2Africa, he is responsible in developing protocols, designing and management of agronomic experiments, collecting and analyzing data from diagnostic, demonstration and adaptation trials. He is also responsible in training farmers and other project partners (research, development and dissemination partners).

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Labija Enemona Blessing IITA

Labija Blessing is the Administrative Officer for the IITA N2Africa Borno Project. She holds two Master Degrees in Business Administration (MBA) and Development Studies (MDS) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management with over four years of professional experience in coordinating administrative operations for international donor financed projects, and over three years previous working experience in both the private and banking sector.

She strongly believes in Humanitarianism and believes that her professional/personal contribution has a ripple effect that impacts lives, public welfare, the environment and economic well-being.

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Justine Onyinge IITA

Mr Justine Onyinge is the N2Africa Field Liaison Officer for South Western Uganda, at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). He joined IITA in 2014. Justine is responsible for providing frontline support to IITA team working on research and dissemination activities for N2Africa Project. He has a strong soil science background, with over 5 years’ experience in agricultural research and 3 years’ experience in geospatial applications for resource mapping. He holds a Master’s degree in Geomatics and Natural Resources Evaluation from University of Florence, Italy and Bachelor’s degree of Science in Agricultural Land Use and Management from Makerere University, Kampala. He is a GIS technical person for soil mapping at National Agricultural Research Laboratories and has previously held teaching assistant and research assistant positions at College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University. His research interest is in Soil Science, Climate Change, simulation models, GIS and Remote Sensing. Justine is interested in working and networking with multidisciplinary teams that uphold projects aimed at enhancement of agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability for improved food security, sustainable livelihoods and better health of people in the society.

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Arnold Sylvester Amppiah IITA Ghana
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Ibrahim Muhammad Kadafur IITA

Ibrahim Muhammad Kadafur is the Business Development Officer for N2Africa Borno State Project, Nigeria. He holds a Masters degree in Agricultural Extension and a first degree in Agric Economics and Extension. He has ten years working experience in linking farmers to markets, worked with over hundred community based organizations and has done Monitoring and Evaluation activities for IITA.

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Lorraine Odhiambo IITA

Ms. Lorraine Odhiambo is the Project Administrator for N2Africa, based in Nairobi. She is charged with handling the day to day administrative aspects of the project, working under the supervision of the Project Coordinator.

Lorraine holds a Degree in Bachelor of Arts, with a specialization in Sociology and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Business of Administration at The University of Nairobi.

She has worked with N2Africa project in both Phase I and Phase II in the same capacity. During the interface between phase 1 and 2 she worked as a Contracts Management Assistant with CIAT, based in Nairobi.

Previously, Lorraine worked with World Vision Kenya, as a Development Facilitator for a Health and HIV Project, targeting marginalized communities and Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC).

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Racheal Nerima IITA

 Racheal Nerima is the Finance/Administrative Assistant N2Africa Project-Uganda,. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and certificate in Strategic procurement and logistics Management.  Prior to joining the N2Africa, she was the Grants and Projects accountant, college of Agricultural & Environmental sciences, Makerere University; She has experience in Finance/Administration of donor funded projects. She is responsible for coordinating and providing administrative and logistical support, and maintaining financial records and budget monitoring.

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Bassey Ukem IITA

I am the Research Associate and Data Management Officer (DMO) of N2Africa Project Nigeria. I hold a Masters degree and a Doctorate degree in Soil Science from the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) Ahmadu Bello University Zaria- Nigeria, with research interest in Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition spanning over 10 years of field experience. My core research concerns include, Soil Nutrients Management, Soil Organic Matter Dynamics and Crop Production in varied agro- ecologies.

I am currently working with the N2Africa Project Nigeria in developing agronomy protocols setting up large-scale multi-locational field experimentation in small holder farms with the use of legumes to increase soil productivity. I work with many Partners offering training in agronomy, data collection and management and synthesis of project research. Write summary reports from the data outputs and contribute to writing of technical reports and manuscripts.

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Basit Alabi IITA Ghana
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Alpha Kamara IITA Nigeria
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George Ucheibe IITA Kubwa

Ucheibe George is the Business Development Officer, N2Africa Project-Nigeria. He is a social scientist and holds two Masters degrees in Development Studies and Banking & Finance from Bayero University Kano, Nigeria with over nine years of experience in facilitating Market Linkages, Trainings and Monitoring among smallholder farmers with a focus on Partner Management, Agribusiness, Market Development, Farmer Cooperative Strengthening, Project implementation & Monitoring and Learning.

His Interests include: Reading, Travelling, working with smallholder farmers and listening to rock music.

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Tamiru Amanu ILRI

I am the Business Development Officer for N2Africa Ethiopia project. Formerly I was working with CASCAPE Project at Haramaya University as Agricultural Economics Expert/Innovator and Oromia Agricultural Research Institute as Assistant Socio-economics Researcher at Yabello Centre.

I have a wide range of work experiences in areas of value chain analysis, multi-stakeholders processes, agri-business development, preference and discrete choice analysis, socio-economic and adoption studies, and participatory field research.

I hold Master of Science (MSc) in Agricultural Economics from Haramaya University, School of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness Management and Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Agricultural Resources Economics and Management from Hawassa University (former Debub University).

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Birhan Abdulkadir ILRI

I am working for N2Africa-Ethiopia as Field Research Officer & Data Manager since March 2014. I have experiences on various thematic areas, i.e., crop-soil managements, yield gap estimation, on-farm agrobiodiversity managements, seed security, etc. in research & development sectors with national & international organizations. Earlier I worked for CIMMYT-Ethiopia as consultant for GYGA project, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) as assistant researcher and Ethio Organic Seed Action (EOSA) as program coordinator. I obtained my M.Sc in Agronomy from Hawassa University and B.Sc in Plant sciences from Haramaya University. I have great interest to pursue my PhD on sustainable intensifications and crop modeling.

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Samuel Mutuma Patrick Ministry of Agriculture

Involved in follow up analyses of EIA data

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Akinson Tumbure Soil Productivity Research Laboratory Zimbabwe
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Mazvita Murwira SPRL

PhD student at Murdoch University, Australia conducting her reseach within N2Africa on the subject "Does the interaction of the indigenous and exotic rhizobia in contrasting Zimbabwean soil conditions result in superior individuals worthy of the inoculant strain title?

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Nancy Karanja University of Nairobi

Professor in Soil Ecology, and Director of Microbial Resources Centre,University of Nairobi. She has may years of  experience in BNF with legumes in SAA including managing inoculant production and use by farmers.She has also coordinated urban agriculture and it plays in ddressing food insecurity and livelihoods to the urban poor and rother elated issues  in SSA and has published widely in this subject. She is involvedinsupervising three MSc students at the  University of Nairobi ,under the N2Africa project.

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Isaac Chabata University of Zimbabwe

Isaac Chabata is a Research Fellow at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) since 2014. He has been working on the N2Africa project since 2011 to – date where he has managed to disseminate legume technologies among Zimbabwean smallholder farmers through development partners and government structures. From 2011 to 2013 Isaac was working as a Farm Liaison Officer for the N2Africa Project under the International Centre for Tropical Africa (CIAT).

Previously Isaac Chabata worked with Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, USAID FEWSNET, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), and the Government of Zimbabwe (under AGRITEX) mainly on developmental projects. He has gained extensive experience in the implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation of rural development, food security and agricultural projects.

He holds a Master of Science Degree in Social Ecology (UZ), BSc Honours Degree in Agriculture (UZ), Diploma in Agriculture, Certificate in M&E and Certificate in Agriculture.

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Tatenda Kainga University of Zimbabwe Zimbabwe
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Jibreel Mohammed Basit Urban Agriculture Network-UrbANet Ghana

Development Practitioner

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Charlotte Schilt Wageningen University and Research (WUR)

Charlotte Schilt is responsible for the preparation of newsletters (the N2Africa Podcaster) and project administration as member of management team for N2Africa. She is the face behind

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Ilse de Jager Wageningen University and Research centre (WUR)

Ilse de Jager is doing her PhD within the N2Africa project based at Wageningen University, both at the Plant Production Systems group and the Division of Human Nutrition. Her PhD focuses on impacts of agriculture on improving diets and nutritional status of vulnerable groups from rural households in sub-Saharan Africa, in particular focusing on the potential of grain legumes. She conducted two case studies in Ghana and Kenya at the end of phase 1 of N2Africa, comparing the diet and nutritional status of infants and young children of households participating in N2Africa and not participating in N2Africa. In rural Northern Ghana, she collected quantitative dietary intake data of children 6 to 23 months old to map the role of grain legumes in their current diet and using linear modelling to investigate the potential role of the N2Africa grain legumes. She also uses linear modelling to develop food-based dietary guidelines and assess the dietary gap between production and household food needs.

She started her PhD research in 2014 after obtaining her MSc degree in Human Nutrition focussing on malnutrition in developing countries. She gained field experience in India within the TELFUN program, conducting a feeding trial to improve the iron status of schoolchildren.

The Netherlands
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Esther Ronner WUR

Esther Ronner is doing her PhD within the N2Africa project and is based at Wageningen University. Her PhD focuses on the effects of the large-scale dissemination of improved legume technologies on smallholder farmers. She assessed the implications of variability in soybean yield observed on farmers’ fields in northern Nigeria, and is currently working on the co-design of improved climbing bean production practices and their adoption and adaptation among smallholder farmers in highlands area of Uganda. Before starting her PhD, Esther Ronner was involved in the initiation of N2Africa project activities in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda during the extension of the project to these three countries, and in data analysis of agronomy, demonstration and dissemination trials and impact assessment.

Esther holds an MSc in International Land and Water Management from Wageningen University and an MSc in International Development Studies from Utrecht University. She gained field experience in Kenya and Mali, and at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Netherlands
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Eva Thuijsman WUR

Eva Thuijsman works with N2Africa as a research assistant.

The Netherlands
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Wytze Marinus WUR The Netherlands
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Travis Goron WUR

Travis completed his PhD at the University of Guelph in Canada, near Toronto. His specialization was crop plant physiology, specifically nitrogen metabolism in maize. At Wageningen University & Research he’ll be attempting a focused study of the non-nitrogen benefits which occur when rotating cereals with legumes in Sub-Saharan Africa, within the N2Africa program.

The Netherlands
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Charlotte Mallet WUR/UVA The Netherlands