Cassava Commodity Specialist
Tel: +234 0700800IITA, +1 201 6336094, Ext. 2338
Station: Nigeria (Onne)
Dr Richardson Uchenna Okechukwu is a Senior Scientist at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and currently Head of IITA station at Onne, Rivers State. Dr Okechukwu is a Cassava Commodity Specialist in the Outreach component of the African Development Bank sponsored project called Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program, Phase One (ATASP-1) operating in seven states in Nigeria. He is also Project Coordinator of the Cassava Transformation Agenda Project. Under these platforms he coordinates farmers at different scales cropping about 5000 ha of cassava in different parts of Africa. He also has supervised the sourcing and deployment of millions of bundles of improved cassava varieties to farmers. With his training in plant pathology, agronomy, and biometrics he has been part of most results from IITA’s Root and Tuber System since 1991. He is currently the President of the of International Society of Root and Tuber Crops Africa Branch (ISTRC-AB) and was the past Editor-in-Chief of the African Journal of Root and Tuber Crops. He has trained several farmers including youth on “farming as a business” with an emphasis on technologies and practices that reduce production costs and enhance yield per unit area. He has also given several on-farm demonstration trainings in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa in the areas of seed systems, crop agronomy, integrated pest management, and postharvest utilization. He is the frontline personnel at IITA that meets with potential cassava investors who seek for information and guidance on cassava agribusiness. Dr Okechukwu is a mentor/supervisor to many students in sub-Saharan Africa and gives lectures on quantitative genetics and data management. Dr Okechukwu is a Nigeria citizen, holds a PhD. and MSc. in Plant Pathology, from the University of Ibadan, and a Bachelor of Agriculture in Crop Production from the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He has authored over one hundred and twenty publications. He is married with four children and a member of Knights of St John International.