Agricultural innovations for sustainable development


“We should drop the notion that agriculture is a useless, unprofitable career: for those who are training and educated, agribusiness and agricultural science are profitable income earners.” Fredah Karambu Rimberia, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya

IFSAfrica needs more agricultural scientists, and in particular more women scientists. Since 2009, CTA, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), IFS and other partners have jointly organised Africa-wide science competitions targeting women and young professionals in science to showcase their research and celebrate their successes. The 3rd Africa-wide Science Competitions held in 2012/13 brought to light 10 extraordinary African scientists – seven women and three men, seven of  whom were under 40 years old. They are inspiring individuals with a clear vision of how they will contribute to agricultural development and economic transformation in Africa.

The winners have travelled far and worked hard to achieve their early-career goals – some have come from small farms,through primary and secondary schools, to universities – and now have begun to reap the rewards of their efforts. For the women scientists, in particular, the journey has at times been arduous, breaking stereotypes of women’s capacity to engage in science and balancing their career aspirations with their family commitments. Many of the scientists started their journey with aspirations to become a doctor, lawyer or mathematician. But for various reasons, they changed course to pursue careers as agricultural scientists. They all enjoy their research and teaching assignments and they are thrilled every time they see farmers using the results of their research. They value their collaboration with colleagues and enjoy participating in international agricultural research networks, as well as the prestige gained in winning awards and gaining recognition for their research. Download the french version or the english version of the full publication.

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