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Dr Richardson Okechukwu is a Senior Scientist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and currently the Project Coordinator of Cassava Transformation Agenda Project, funded by the Federal Government of Nigeria under its Agricultural Transformation Agenda. Under this platform he is coordinating farmers at different scales cropping about 2000 ha of cassava in 30 states of Nigeria. He also have supervised sourcing and deployment of over one million bundles of cassava to farmers. He currently leads the Production support activities for CAVA II Project under an IITA/FUNAAB agreement.
With his expertise in plant pathology, agronomy, and biometrics he has been part of most results from IITA Root and Tuber System since 1991. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of International Society of Root and Tuber Crops Africa Branch and manages the African Journal of Root and Tuber Crops.
He has trained several farmers on ‘farming as a business’ with emphasis on technologies and practices that reduce production cost and enhance yield per unit area. He has also given several on-farm demonstration trainings in many countries in Africa in the areas of crop agronomy, integrated pest management, and postharvest utilization. He is the frontline personnel at IITA that meets with potential cassava investors who seek for information and guidance on how to grow the cassava, process into a value added product, and estimate profitability. Dr Okechukwu personally conducts experiments, supervise students and give lectures on quantitative genetics, and data management, in different countries of Africa.
Dr Okechukwu holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Plant Pathology, from University of Ibadan, and a Bachelor of Agriculture in Crop Production from University of Nigeria Nsukka. His professional interests are in cassava germplasm development/seed system, crop production, integrated pest management, technology transfer for sustainable rural development, and biometrics. He has authored over one hundred and twenty publications.