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Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin

Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin, is a Plant Breeder/Molecular Geneticist.  He has worked in broad areas of research and development (R&D) through crop improvement, agronomic and physiological studies over 27 years.  These studies conducted at the international and national research systems (CIAT, Colombia, IITA, Nigeria, NRCRI/FMARD, Nigeria) encompassed both basic and applied research employing both conventional and molecular tools.  He successfully initiated molecular breeding initiatives in several countries and led a Cassava Breeding Community of Practice to build capacity for gene discovery, MAS, MARS, and gene discovery under CGIAR-GCP.  They were accomplished under several multi-partnership-based projects which he led using diverse molecular platforms to understand and improve genetic resistance to pests and diseases including the most important viral disease of cassava (the African cassava mosaic virus).  He spent many years broadening of the genetic base of cassava in Africa through access to elite germplasm from its center of origin for the improvement of resistance to pests and diseases including exploring new mechanisms of tolerance to abiotic stresses.  Technology transfer and capacity building related activities have been very central in most of his recent professional activities for rice, maize, potato, and cowpea at AATF, Kenya.  Technology scouting to address current gaps in the African agricultural value chain including the development of functional seed systems (that enhances quality and disease-free seeds) are other responsibilities he is involved with at AATF.  I am presently in the leadership of several projects in Africa which has a large consortium of partners’ as part of AATF’s initiative to promote public-private partnership value chain development towards agricultural transformation of Africa.  Dr. Emmanuel Okogbenin is presently the Director of Technical Operations at the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF).