Advisory Board PDF Print E-mail


The Advisory Board is set up to serve as a springboard for sharing widely the results of the project and for contributing to impacting on the policy agenda of a wide range of stakeholders. This committee meets once a year through videoconferencing. The Advisory Board is also actively involved in the WPs (e.g attending global or regional workshops, dissemination activities,...). The board's role is to give feedback on projects' concepts, activities and products, (e.g. reference framework, approach to case study development, choice of case studies, key lessons,...) as well as to expand and facilitate networking and to provide strong support for the overall project efforts. It also facilitates linkages with other ongoing projects on natural resource management.


The Advisory Board includes representatives of a cross-section of key stakeholders in the arena of sustainable agricultural development:


  • M. André Bationo (AGRA, Ghana)

M. Bationo a Burkinabe holds a PhD in Soil Chemistry from Laval University (Canada). Prior to joining AGRA, he was the Coordinator of the African Network for Soil Biology and Fertility (AfNet) and the Deputy Director of the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Institute (TSBF) in Nairobi, Kenya. Before that he was a Principal Soil Scientist seconded to ICRISAT’s Sahelian Centre by the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC). For 20 years, Dr. Bationo has conducted research aimed at combating land degradation and declining soil fertility in Africa. Throughout his career, he has mentored many African researchers. In 2004, the International Biographical Centre in Cambridge, UK, nominated him as International Scientist of the Year. In 2008, Dr Bationo received an Honorary Doctorate from the Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and in 2009 he received the annual award from the International Fertilizer Industry Association in Shanghai for his work in soil health. M. Bationo has been carrying out research on soil fertility for the last 25 years. He has contributed immensely to the understanding of soil fertility issues in Sub-Saharan Africa and more specifically the nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics in the Sahelian ecosystems, and on ways of improving nutrient use efficiency and synergy between organic and inorganic plant nutrients. In addition, his research on conservation of soil moisture has promoted the use of water conservation structures such as zai ‘the half moon’, tied ridges, ridging, practices that have contributed to improved water conservation, reduced runoff and soil erosion and improved crop production in the region. Some of these findings are reported in over 250 publications in refereed journals, and 3 books that he has published. Andre is also involved in the development of technical advisory notes (TANs) to ensure the use of research results by smallholder farmers. He is also advocating and adopting the application of Decision Support System (DSS) for scaling up and out of research results.

M. Bationo received the Principal Staff Achievement Award for the year 2004 from the CIAT board and The Highest Civilian Award from the Government of Niger for contribution to the development of soil fertility restoration technologies in the Sahel. He is also a member of the Committee to develop West Africa Medium Term Plan (MTP) and the AfricaNESS (African Network for Global Change) as well as a consultant for the European Union (EU) on projects proposal review.


  • M. Paulo Roberto Galerani (Embrapa, Brasil)


  • M. Adewale Adekunle (FARA, Ghana)

M. Adekunle currently works with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa as the Director for Partnerships and Strategic Alliances and also as the Coordinator for the Sub-Saharan Africa Challenge Program (SSA CP).   He started his career in agricultural research and development on a World Bank Project in Nigeria in 1985. He later coordinated this program before joining the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in 1988. M. Adekunle was with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture for about two decades during which period he worked in different areas of the agricultural research for development framework. He started with farming systems agronomic research in IITA with commodities like maize and cassava and alley farming as the focus. In the later years of his stay in IITA, the main focus of his work was in the area of innovation systems approach for research and development.   His work on innovation systems approach led to the development of the “ Innovation platforms” an approach now used across the world. Through his work, he created innovation platforms some of which had enhanced ICT-modulated communication. In doing these, he developed a model to sustain ICT including internet in Rural Communities. Some platforms also had farmers’ commodity exchange implanted making them the first farmer directed commodity exchange board in Africa. This singular effort caught the attention of the Stockholm Challenge Award in 2005. Earlier, in 1996 he had won the Walt Disney Partners in Excellence Award for outstanding performance during his fellowship as a winner of the World Bank Distinguished Young Scientist Award. Since 2007, when M. Adekunle started to work in FARA, he has directed the Partnership and Strategic Alliances Networking Support Function of FARA with special focus on the coordination of the SSA CP which has been tasked to prove the concept of IAR4D.   This proof is being done through a network of researchers working in eight different countries across Africa. He coordinates nine multi-stakeholder projects on themes that range from productivity improvement, to natural resource management, policies, and markets. These projects are implemented under Task Forces which are regrouped into three Pilot Learning Sites. M. Adekunle has a PhD in Agronomy and has benefitted extensively from post graduate studies in a number of other correlated areas. He is widely published having several journal articles in referred journals complemented by a number of books and chapters of books. He has trained a large number of students drawn from across the globe and co supervised 7 at the MSc and Phd levels. He had been an adjunct Professor of agriculture and rural development since 2002.


  • M. Josef Kienzle (FAO, Italy)

An agricultural engineer, M. Kienzle is a German national who gained a master’s degree in agricultural engineering at the University of Hohenheim. He later undertook a postgraduate course in advanced agricultural development at Humboldt University, Berlin. He has 15 years of FAO experience working in labour saving technologies, gender issues, participatory extension, emergency and rehabilitation interventions; mechanization strategy formulation and conservation agriculture. Currently, he leads the Infrastructure and Engineering Services Unit of the Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division (AGS) in Rome. He is a founder member of the FAO informal working group on Conservation agriculture, an area of expertise within which he has become a renowned specialist. He is currently leading a major field programme entitled “Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (CA-SARD)”. This project has field operations in Kenya and Tanzania but also has strong pan-African activities. M. Kienzle is particularly interested to investigate how best to ensure sustainable up-scaling of successful pilot CA activities whilst ensuring that a farmer-based and entrepreneurial approach is maintained rather than a traditional public sector top-down approach.


  • M. Antonio Rota (IFAD, Italy)

M. Rota's career includes twenty five years of professional experience in pro-poor farming systems and livestock development, working with FAO, NGOs and private consulting firms, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.  His career with IFAD began in 2000 as a consultant, leaving in 2004 to join FAO as Livestock Adviser in Afghanistan, where he was responsible for the implementation of the “Rural Poultry Production” and “Integrated Dairy Schemes” Development Projects.  He re-joined IFAD in 2006 as Senior Technical Adviser on Livestock and Farming Systems and since then, among his various responsibilities, he has been particularly proactive, launching a Community of Practice for Pro-poor Livestock Development.  M. Rota coordinates the CoP with the specific objective of promoting livestock as a tool for poverty reduction. He is also a promoter for the integration of livestock-crop systems and conservation agriculture principles as means for sustainable agriculture intensification throughout IFAD funded projects.