Dr. Francis Padi leads the Plant Breeding Division of the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana since 2008. Dr Padi received his PhD from the University of East Anglia and the John Innes Centre, UK. His research emphasizes improvement of adaptive traits for variety development, a focus that led to the release of several cowpea and groundnut varieties prior to 2008. Currently, Francis Padi focuses on application of genomics to variety development in cocoa, cashew and shea. For these tree crops, his major areas of research has been the genetic basis of stress tolerance mechanisms, and improvement of quality traits.