During the last few months AgriFoSe2030 has welcomed three new colleagues to the team - Cecilia Moraa Onyango, Selorm Kugbega and Gwendolyn Varley. With their special expertise in different areas they will be an excellent contribution to the work AgriFoSe2030 is doing.
Selorm Kugbega works at Lund University and is now strengthening the Communication and Engagement team.
"My name is Selorm Kobla Kugbega. I am originally from Ghana, West Africa and I am happy to have been given the opportunity to join the AgriFose2030 communications and engagement team.
I hold a PhD in Human Geography from Lund University and my research focuses on the nexus between resource use, property rights, agrarian livelihoods social differentiation and smallholder-led structural transformation. I have also worked in the past with economic policy analysis and monitoring, evaluation and learning at the United Nations Development Programme (Ghana) and as an independent consultant.
I hope to contribute towards improving AgrifoSe2030’s engagements with varied policy audiences, building researchers’ capacities and synthesising programme impact and lessons."
Gwendolyn Varley is a postdoctoral student at SLU and has now joined Challenge 1.
"Hi everyone, my name is Gwendolyn Varley. I joined the Department of Urban and Rural Development at SLU last year as a postdoc on the SteamBioAfrica project, which is trialing a new biofuel in Namibia that converts encroacher bush species (which overtake both agricultural land and wildlife habitat) into a clean-burning energy source. I’m part of the project’s gender equality and social inclusion team, which is researching the social impacts of the new biofuel and working to ensure that marginalised groups can benefit from the new technology.
Prior to coming to Sweden, I completed my PhD in Development Studies at the University of Greenwich in the UK. My thesis focused on methods of measuring women’s empowerment among farmers in rural Uganda, and better understanding the relationships between women’s empowerment and children’s nutrition in the context of smallholder agriculture.
I’m excited to bring my background in gender, agriculture, and nutrition to the AgriFoSe programme. I have already been inspired by the breadth of the programme’s successes and look forward to working to ensure that women, youth, and other marginalised groups benefit from the agricultural innovations championed by AgriFoSe.
I aim to help integrate a deeper understanding of gender issues across the programme, and will especially closely involved with the projects of Challenge 1, Improving Access to Safe and Nutritious Food."
Cecilia Moraa Onyango is the new deputy programme director for AgriFoSe2030.
“I am an Associate professor of Horticulture at the University of Nairobi, Kenya with over 20 years of experience in training, research and community outreach in the areas of crop production systems, postharvest handling of produce, crop production and market standards, quality and food safety. The main focus in my research work has been on Africa’s crops’ production physiology, conservation and use; Food quality and safety including Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) controls and management along food supply chains. I embrace a system thinking approach to create sustainable food systems as a means of achieving food security and nutrition.
What I bring to Agrifose2030 is the experience of working with smallholder farming communities in Africa especially those of the East African Region (main focus of AgriFoSe2030 programme). As well, my expertise in Partnership Building and Resource Mobilization I think will be relevant to the programme.”