Category: SD3-Tree diversity, domestication and delivery

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.

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...

The shea tree. Inset: Dr Sam Gwali of the National Agricultural Research Organization, Uganda. Photos by C. Watson/ICRAF

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...

Tasked to identify orphan crops for DRC by the national agricultural research body, Dr Dowiya takes a leaf sample from a bean plant in an exercise at the African Plant Breeding Academy at ICRAF

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...

Farmers practising social forestry in ASEAN come from a wide range of ethnicities and are among the poorest in their nations. Photo: Center for International Forestry Research

Seeing swidden

Swidden aka shifting cultivation has long been criticised as an unsustainable agricultural practice in Southeast Asia. Research is revealing its complexities and benefits   Swiddening, that is, the practice of clearing forest for annual crops and then managing...

Beginning of the letter from the Bupati Buol to IFAD. Source: Kantor Bupati Buol

Government asks International Fund for Agricultural Development to continue support for agroforestry

The District Government of Buol in Central Sulawesi Province, Indonesia wants continued international support for a project led by the World Agroforestry Centre that helps with sustainable agricultural development based on agroforestry   Amiruddin Rauf, the head of...

Smallholders’ tree nursery and farm management learning group. Photo: World Agroforestry Centre/ Dienda Citasyari Putri Hendrawan

Another local government decides to support agroforestry

The government of Buol District in Central Sulawesi Province, Indonesia has committed to working closely with the World Agroforestry Centre to support the district’s agricultural development program.   Amiruddin Rauf, the head of Buol District, recently declared his...