CARP+ Students Profiles

RUFORUM Community Action Research Programme

RUFORUM in partnership with mastercard foundation is implementing a programme known as “Transforming African Agricultural Universities to meaningfully contribute to Africa’s growth and development (TAGDev)”. The TAGDev Programme seeks to transform African agricultural universities and their graduates to better respond to developmental challenges through enhanced application of science, technology, business and innovation for rural agricultural transformation. Under TAGDev, there is a specific focus on community action research designed to allow African universities develop and capitalise more comprehensive and sustainable participatory action research and establish platforms for engagement with all the stakeholders including the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions.  The Programme is known as the Community Action Research Programme PLUS (CARP+). Each community action research project involve training graduates (PhD. and MSc.) and undergraduates in particular countries or geographic areas,  a selected commodities, and nest its research along the full commodity value chain. Read more about our graduate students and what they are studying.

CARP+ Students Profiles

Zengeza Tapiwa (Zimbabwean) was born in 1993 in Seke, Chitungwiza and grew up in Buhera District at Nyashanu Mission, an area where production of drought resistant small grains and legumes is dominant. He was enrolled in Bachelor of Agricultural Science Honors Degree in Crop Science at Bindura University of Science Education and graduated with an upper second class (2.1) in 2015. Tapiwa was also enrolled in Post Graduate Diploma in Education at Zimbabwe Open University and graduated in 2017. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture at Bindura University of Science Education as a RUFORUM CARP+ project beneficiary. Tapiwa’s dream is to be a research director.

Rudo Florence Mapfeka (Zimbabwean) was born in 1982 and grew up in Marondera, Mashonaland East Province of Zimbabwe, where farmers practise commercial cash crop production and dairy farming. Rudo was enrolled in Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources Management and Agriculture at Midlands State University, where she graduated with First Class Honors with specialization in Agronomy. She is currently, pursuing a Master of Science in Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture at Bindura University of Science Education under the RUFORUM CARP+ project. Rudo aspires to be a plant breeder to help with introduction of cereals that are high yielding to contribute towards food security.

Farai Desire Marongwe (Zimabwean) was born in 1980, and grew up in Gokwe South District, Midlands Province of Zimbabwe, a region characterized by cotton growing and small scale livestock production as the main sources of income for the community. Farai D Marongwe was enrolled in Bachelor of Science Degree in Natural Resources Management and Agriculture at Midlands State University, and graduated with an Upper Second Class Honors with specialization in Livestock and Wildlife Management. He is currently a RUFORUM CARP+ project beneficiary, pursuing Master of Science in Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture at Bindura University of Science Education (Zimbabwe). Farai has a dream to become a director in the Ministry of Agriculture, Zimbabwe and able to design agricultural policies that will turn the country back to the state of being the bread basket of the southern region

Kasule Faizo (Ugandan) was born in 1992, Kampala, the central region of Uganda. Faizo graduated in 2016 with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology at Makerere University. After completion, he spent time at CIAT-Uganda, under their breeding program to get a grip on common bean breeding and during that time he helped set up the canning phenotyping platform and was able to use this platform to evaluate the canning properties of a panel of PABRA released varieties and elite germplasm. He also interfaced with CIAT molecular breeding targeting disease resistance at the National Agricultural Research Laboratory. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Plant Breeding and Seed Systems at Makerere University (Uganda) under the CARP + 11- Cassava Project at RUFORUM. Faizo intends to solve the challenging research questions in the field of crop improvement, breeding and biotechnology that Uganda and the rest of Africa so much demand

Anthony Livoi (Kenyan) is a holder of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and biotechnology from Masinde Muliro University of science and Technology. He is a graduate student in the University of Nairobi undertaking Master of Science in Plant Pathology. He is working on the cassava project Numbered CASSAVA PROJECT –RU/2018/CARP+/04. Anthony’s area of concentration in the project is on a bacterial disease called cassava bacterial blight caused by the pathogen Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis.  He is working on its distribution in the coastal Kenya and how it can be detected in planting materials. The project location is in Kilifi and Taita Taveta counties which are found in the coastal region. The project is aimed at increasing cassava productivity in the region. My contribution is to ensure that the disease infections are reduced through availability of healthy quality planting materials obtained from a cassava business hub which shall include rapid molecular detection methods for the pathogen in the propagated planting materials. A detection protocol will developed and adopted in the certification system of the Tissue culture cassava planting materials. He has work experience of two years working with a private consultant company in Kenya called Compliance Kenya Ltd. The company offers services in conformity assessment to standards in food safety, agriculture, trade and industry. He has great passion in plant science since he believes through plant science we can be able to solve challenges facing humanity in food and nutrition insecurity, food safety and poor value addition strategies. Plant science is life and contributes greatly to wellbeing of humanity on earth

Kidasi Patrick Clay (Kenyan) is working on the cassava project in coastal Kenya. He recently completed his degree programme in BSc Horticulture. During his undergraduate (15th September- 15th December, 2016), he was attached at Syngenta Pollen limited, Ruiru, Kenya. I acquired hands-on experience on multiplication of basic and hybrid seeds, lawn and garden cutting and breeding of new cultivars. He was also attached for internship at Efficacy Trials Unit at the University of Nairobi as a research assistant. Patirck was involved in assessment of new pesticides and fungicides products for their efficacies on insect pests/diseases in the management of field and greenhouse crop pests and diseases. He was also a volunteer tutor at Sponsor An African Scholar (SAAS), Kenya, in which he was tasked with teaching form 1-4 on Mathematics and Physics. He continuously participate in outreach programs on tree planting and mentoring primary pupils at Taita Taveta County. My motivation of tree planting and mentoring pupils is the concern to take care of the mother- nature and encouraging the coming generation to work hard in their academics to fulfill their dreams. My passion for researching in agricultural field is to   provide a sustainable solutions and recommendations for increased food and nutrition security to the ever increasing population.  Patrick do believe that dynamic challenges in agriculture can be solved by the young generation through hard work, dedication, team work/partnership and passion to alleviate poverty and end hunger in our country and continent at large

Tirra Amos (Kenyan) is a holder of a degree in BSc. Agribusiness Economics and Food Industry Management (KU). During my undergraduate program. He attended two industrial attachments; the first one at Mumias Sugar Limited Company in 2013 and the second one at Horticultural Crop Directorate in 2015. In addition, after he graduated in 2016, He attended an internship program at Bidco Africa Limited company agribusiness department. All these helped to learn the gap in Agriculture and this motivated me to embark on graduate studies at UoN. Currently he is studying MSc. Agricultural and Applied Economics at The University of Nairobi (UoN). Amos is working on my research project proposal titled Economic Analysis of Cassava Value Chain in Taita-Tavata and Kilifi Counties, Kenya; which is under the cassava project – RU/2018/CAP+/04. The specific objectives that he intend to pursue revolve around cassava utilization, cassava commercialization and elucidation of the cassava markets at the Kenyan Coast. Cassava is the way to go in Kenya since the new policy by Kenya Government requires all maize and wheat millers to blend their respective flours with cassava flours. He likes working with people who learn from others and learn together with others. Did you realize that most people ignorantly use the words “Institution and Organization” interchangeably but they don’t mean the same thing? Institutions help in coordinating and facilitating working organizations. Out of books and work he plays or watches football and others things follow

Florence Munguti (Kenyan) is currently the Officer-In-Charge of KEPHIS-Plant Quarantine & Bio-security station. She holds a Master of Science degree in Molecular Biology & Bioinformatics and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry. She is a beneficiary of BecA-ILRI African Biosciences challenge fund Fellowship program (ABCF) where she carried out her MSc Research on utilization of next generation sequencing in identification of woodiness disease causal viruses in passion fruit. Out of her research work she was able to develop quick diagnostic protocol based on Loop Mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) for use in passion fruit nursery certification. The activities she coordinates include plant pest and disease diagnostics, coordination of quarantine imports including participation in Pest Risk Analysis and approval and issuance of plant import permits. She has contributed to the ISO 17025 accreditation of the Plant Quarantine & Biosecurity laboratories at KEPHIS and has as well participated in review of diagnostic protocols at regional Plant Protection Convention. She is a PhD student on the cassava project (RU-2018-CARP+-04), where her research will focus on determining the occurrence and distribution of Cassava Brownstreak Disease (CBSD) in the coastal region of Kenya with a case study of Kilifi and Taita Taveta counties. She will also be focusing on determination of the molecular diversity of the viruses causing Cassava Brown streak Disease as well as its vectors. She will also validate the diagnostic protocols for detection of this disease in support of the cassava seed systems to ensure that farmers get clean planting materials. This will lead to improved cassava productivity and hence contribute to solving food insecurity in the region. She has interests in increased capacity in diagnostics of emerging diseases especially viral diseases, and understanding the role of vectors in the transmission of the diseases to support phytosanitary decision making and seed systems


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