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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.

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...

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...

More important than ever to work together to influence agricultural and forestry policies to feed and protect the planet

With the world already feeling the impact of climate change, feeding a future population of 9 billion while also keeping trees in landscapes to soak up carbon and provide many other benefits is a huge challenge best met...

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...

Cambodia and Myanmar call for more help to develop agroforestry

Senior representatives of the governments of Cambodia and Myanmar have called on the World Agroforestry Centre to support development of agroforestry in their countries.   At a meeting of senior forestry, environment and agriculture delegates from member states...

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