Executive Council



(L-R) Dr Abdulai Jalloh, CORAF; Mr William Asiko, FANRPAN; Ms Joanna Kane-Potaka, Assistant Director General-External Relations, ICRISAT, and Smart Food Executive Director; Dr Peter Carberry, Director General, ICRISAT, Dr Yemi Akinbamijo, FARA and Dr Ravi Khetarpal, Executive Secretary, APAARI at the signing of agreements on 13th January, 2019 at ICRISAT, India.

Represented by


Dr Oseyemi (Yemi) O Akinbamijo
Executive Director
Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa

About FARA : The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa is the apex continental organization responsible for coordinating and advocating for agricultural research for development (AR4D). FARA serves as the technical arm of the Africa Union Commission on matters concerning agriculture science, technology and innovation. https://faraafrica.org/


Yemi Akinbamijo is the executive director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). He has spent the past 28 years in Africa and Europe working in the international agriculture, food security, and rural development domains. He was head of division of the Agriculture and Food Security Division at the African Union (AU) Commission Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; director of the AU Inter-African Phytosanitary Council based in Yaoundé, Cameroon; and served on the Africa-Arab Joint Action on Food Security and Agriculture. He has a Ph.D. in Agriculture and Environmental Sciences from Wageningen University Research Centre, The Netherlands.


Represented by

Dr Abdulai Jalloh
Director of Research
West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (WECARD/CORAF)

About CORAF : As Africa’s largest sub-regional research organization, the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) works with 23 national agricultural research systems in 23 West and Central Africa countries to enhance prosperity and ensure a food security. CORAF’s research changes lives through improvements in agricultural production and increased incomes of millions of entrepreneurs and farmers. www.coraf.org/en/


Abdulai is the Director of Research and Innovation at the West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (WECARD/CORAF) where he had earlier (2009 – 2015) served as the Manager of the Natural Resources Management Programme. In 2016 and 2017, Abdulai Coordinated the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation funded project, the African Cassava Agronomy Initiative implemented by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Abdulai Jalloh has more than 30 years of rich agricultural research for development experience at the national, regional and international levels. He has over the years collaborated with a vast range of stakeholders including farmers, scientists, development partners, the private sector entrepreneurs as well as policy makers across the African continent. Alongside his scientific career, Abdulai has been part of and led diverse multidisciplinary and multinational research teams that have made significant contributions to the development of agricultural technologies and innovations that have impacted livelihoods in the West and Central African region and beyond.

Represented by


Dr Tshilidzi Madzivhandila
Chief Executive Officer ad interim
The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)

About FANRPAN : The Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network is a pan-African network that provides independent evidence to inform policy processes at national and regional levels. FANRPAN’s membership includes food, agriculture and natural resources (FANR) related government departments, parliamentarians, research and farmer organizations, private sector, civil society organizations and the media. www.fanrpan.org


William Asiko is the Executive Director of Grow Africa, an initiative of the World Economic Forum (WEF), NEPAD and the African Union (AU). Grow Africa works to mobilize private sector investment in agriculture and to accelerate the execution and impact of investment commitments on the continent.

Prior to this role William was the CEO of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) an international organization that works with African Governments to help improve the enabling environment for business and commerce in their countries. Until his appointment as CEO of ICF in May 2013, William was the President of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. His career with The Coca-Cola Company spanned almost 20 years in varying roles of increasing responsibility starting in 1995 as in house corporate attorney in his home country, Kenya and included tours of duty in the United States, Morocco, the United Kingdom and South Africa.


Represented by

Dr Ravi Khetarpal
Executive Secretary
Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI)

About APAARI: The Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions was established in 1990 at the initiative of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and most of the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) of the Asia-Pacific region and a voluntary, membership-based, apolitical and multi-stakeholder regional organization. It is bridging national, regional and global stakeholders to bring about collective change in agri-food systems of Asia and the Pacific. hwww.apaari.org/


He served CABI – South Asia (India) as Regional Director and also as its Regional Advisor on Strategic Science Partnerships over a span of seven years. Prior to this he worked for National Agricultural Research System in India for three decades. He holds PhD in Life Sciences (Virology) from University of Paris and was a Visiting Scientist in an EU Collaborative Project at INRA, Versailles, France for three years. His areas of interest includes research, development, policy issues and capacity building in areas of biosecurity, biosafety, seed certification and biodiversity. He has worked as consultant of twelve FAO/World Bank Projects notably in Indonesia (as Team Leader), India, Nepal, Mauritius and Cambodia. He represents Asia as Developing Country SPS Expert in STDF Working Group in WTO. He has published 110 research papers, 19 books, 56 book chapters, 12 review articles and 3 policy papers. APAARI welcomes him and looks forward to enhanced APAARI progress under his dynamic leadership.

Represented by

Dr Jacqueline d’Arros Hughes
Director General
International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

About ICRISAT: The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Ari-Tropics (ICRISAT) is an international nonprofit, non-political organization that conducts agricultural research for development in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with a wide array of partners throughout the world. Covering 6.5 million square kilometers of land in 55 countries, the semi-arid tropics have over 2 billion people, and 644 million of these are the poorest of the poor. ICRISAT is headquartered in Patancheru, Hyderabad, Telangana, India, with two regional hubs and six country offices in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a member of the CGIAR Consortium. About ICRISAT: www.icrisat.org


Previous ICRISAT Director General, Dr Peter Carberry, talking on Smart Food

Peter Carberry is an Australian national. He received his PhD in Agriculture from the University of Sydney. Before joining ICRISAT in 2015, Peter was a Chief Research Scientist in the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia.

Peter started his career as a Research Scholar at ICRISAT-India in 1982. Over the years he has held positions of Theme Leader, Economic & Environmental Performance of Australian Agriculture, CSIRO Agricultural Sustainability Initiative (2006-2009); Deputy Director, Agri-Industry & International Relationships (2009-2013), and Theme Leader, Partnering for International Food and Fibre Security, CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship (2009-2014).

He has held several important scientific positions, including Board Director of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology and President, Australian Society of Agronomy. He received the Australian Medal of Agricultural Science from the Ag Institute, Australia in 2013, the Officier de l’Ordre National du Burkina Faso from the Government of Burkina Faso in 2012, and is an Elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology.