AFRICA – Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), a not for profit Japan founded agricultural organisation has appointed Kenya’s Dr Mel Oluoch as the new Regional Director to be based in SAA Regional Office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Dr Oluoch is an expert in agricultural research, rural and value-chain development, and policy formulation, thus brings SAA knowledge and experience in project management, capacity-building, and increasing smallholder farmers’ access to new production technologies.
He has worked at the World Vegetable Center, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), HarvestPlus and as Tanzania Country Coordinator for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).
Prior to his appointment, Dr Oluoch was an adjunct lecturer at Nairobi University, Kenya, in the Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection.
He has a PhD in Horticulture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA, and has published extensively in academic journals and other publications.
He will work along SAA’s Chairperson, Hon Professor Ruth K Oniang’o, a former Professor of Food Science at Jomo Kenyatta University who won the 2017 Africa Food Prize laureate.
“We are excited to have Dr Mel Oluoch join us at this time as Regional Director.
“His vast experience will build on the great work accomplished by his predecessor Dr Juliana Rwelamira, who retired this year after an excellent and productive ten years with SAA,” said Professor Ruth Oniang’o.
Welcoming Dr Oluoch to SAA, Ms Fumiko Iseki, Executive Director said: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Oluoch to SAA as our new Regional Director.”
“As we consolidate the steps taken in our year of transformation, we are now looking to the future and the ways in which we can expand the impact of SAA’s field operations, empower Africa’s smallholder farmers and transform sustainable agricultural practices.
Dr Oluoch will play a vital role in implementing SAA strategies and realising this vision.”
SAA has national agricultural extension services in Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria and Uganda and operates through partner universities in Burkina Faso, Benin, Ghana, Malawi, and Tanzania.