The Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) Wednesday welcomed Dr Mel Oluoch, an agricultural research and development professional, after his appointment as its new regional director based at the SAA’s regional office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, says a press statement by the organisation.
Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) is a nonprofit aimed at building the capacity of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa along the agricultural value chain. It was founded in 1986 in Geneva and carries out its field operations in Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria, and Uganda with funding from the Nippon Foundation, Japan.
“As we consolidate the steps taken in our years of transformation, we are now looking to the future and the ways in which we can expand the impact of SAA’s field operations, empower Africa’s smallholder farmers and transform sustainable agricultural practices. Dr Oluoch will play a vital role in implementing SAA strategies and realising this vision,” Fumiko Iseki, executive director of SAA said while welcoming the new director.
Iseki who described Oluoch as ‘a strong addition’ to the SAA family said they were delighted to welcome him to Sasakawa Africa.
Oluoch, a Kenyan joins the services of Sasakawa after a stint in “agricultural research, rural and value-chain development, and policy formation. He has a wealth of experience, and knowledge in project management, capacity building, and in increasing smallholder farmers access to new production technologies,” according to the statement.
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Some of the positions held by Oluoch previously included serving in senior positions at the World Vegetable Center, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Harvest Plus. In addition, he served as Tanzania country coordinator for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
He holds a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Horticulture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA and has numerous publications in academic journals and other publishing outlets to his credit.