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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.

Promoting early-maturing, oil-rich shea trees and holding off the charcoal threat

In Europe and the US, shea butter or oil is a famous skin cream. But shea is even more important as the main cooking oil for the band of 21 African countries that stretches West to East from...

Forest people of DR Congo guide orphan crop research

Dr Benjamin Dowiya Nzawele, 42, arrived at the World Agroforestry Centre, also known as ICRAF, in Nairobi with an important brief from his national agricultural research institute: To “identify orphan crops not currently taken into account by INERA, their...

A talk with the Tala-andig tribe: thoughts on development, deeper engagement and mutual respect

Research and development aim to benefit communities but how should researchers and indigenous people work together in projects? Here are some thoughts on development, deeper engagement and mutual respect based on discussions between the Tala-andig tribe and ICRAF researchers. It...

Profits, plates and plots: the link between farmers’ diets and their farms

Researchers have found that smallholders participating in a payments for ecosystem services (PES) scheme in Cidanau Watershed, Indonesia had more diverse diets than farmers who weren’t participating. Food security, however, is still an issue for the watershed so...

Research centres, banks, businesses, civil society and farmers join forces to fight future food shortages in Asia

The Asian Development Bank is working with the CGIAR, a global partnership for a food-secure future, as the key research partner in a broad coalition of partners to boost food production across the region.   We are faced...

Success factors for land and water management in Africa

At present, large expanses of land in rural Africa are degraded as a result of over extraction of trees for timber, firewood and charcoal. The problem is exacerbated by poor crop and animal husbandry practices, such as growing...

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