Cathy Watson

Cathy Watson

Cathy Watson is chief of programme development at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi. Before joining ICRAF in November 2012, she founded and ran two NGOs in Uganda -- Straight Talk Foundation and Mvule Trust. She was made a senior Ashoka fellow for social entrepreneurship in 2006. She has also been a foreign correspondent, working for The Guardian and the BBC, among others. A graduate in biology and Latin American Studies from Princeton, she has almost 30 years of work experience in Africa with a focus on trees, youth, HIV, families, and communication for social change. She holds a certificate in agroforestry from the University of Missouri.

Alex Oduor and Malesu Maimbo, water engineers from the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), talk with Khat farmers in Embu. Khat cultivation is severely impacting water availability yet is lucrative for farmers. Photo D Odhiambo/ICRAF

Resolving the khat conundrum: when a profitable crop has downsides

With European markets closed to the khat grown in one Kenyan county, khat grown in another county is making inroads into coffee, tea and forest. Environmental damage is escalating. Fortunately, researchers from the World Agroforestry Centre have a...

More mouths to feed. Part 2: Expanding climate-smart agriculture to secure food supply

Climate-smart agriculture, including agroforestry and other diversified farming practices, is the future of farming. The world can no longer rely on monocultural, commercial practices to feed the two billion new mouths expected by 2050. While the world is...

More mouths to feed. Part 1: Harnessing climate-smart agriculture to secure food supply

Climate-smart agriculture, including agroforestry and other diversified farming practices, has huge potential to improve food security and address climate change at the same time. Researchers, policymakers and farmers discuss what should be done to expand such practices and...

Dr Happiness Osebele, geneticist and mother of five, one of 29 senior plant breeders from around Africa attending the African Plant Breeding Academy in July 2016 at ICRAF. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/Catharine Watson

How Happiness is breeding plants for Africa’s future

  Plant breeders are improving food plants and building a more food-secure future for Africa. One has been working at it all her life despite early challenges.   A plant breeder called Happiness spent 17 months trying to...

Jeneponto District strategises to create sustainable livelihoods and conserve the environment

Jeneponto in the province of South Sulawesi, Indonesia, has officially begun to implement a sustainable livelihoods and conservation strategy that was facilitated by the Agroforestry and Forestry in Sulawesi project.   The launch of the strategy was marked...

Agroforestry offers sustainable alternative to worrying trend in Mekong region

A shift towards monoculture plantations and higher chemical use is of great concern to many in the Mekong region, particularly due to the impact this is having on food security and health. Farmers who have resisted monoculture cropping,...

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