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Dr. Joe Devries

Dr. DeVries, is passionate about the potential of Africa’s seed systems to create and sustain a uniquely African green revolution. A citizen of the USA, he launched his career in Africa in 1986 as a United Nations Volunteer building irrigated rice systems in West Africa’s northern Sahel region. As a crop improvement and genetics expert, he believes in the transfer of ownership of the inventive steps in plant breeding to local institutions, and ensuring the supply of seed to smallholder farmers is modelled on sound business practice and responsive to their needs.

In the past decade, Joe has led AGRA’s partnerships with African crop breeders in 14 countries has resulted in the generation of 500 high-yield, locally adapted crop varieties, increasing farmer access to high quality, locally produced seeds from 2,000 metric tons to more than 120,000 metric tons per year.