FOSRIN: Food security through ricebean research in India and Nepal

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Project teams

Quick links to team members (home page and email)

Bangor: Phil Hollington, Dave Harris, John Witcombe and Krishna Joshi

Kiel: Rolf AE Mueller, Matteus von Oppen, Doreen Buergelt

Bergen: Peter Andersen

GVT: JP Yadavendra Singh

LI-BIRD: PK Shresthra, Resham Gautam

CSKHPKVK: Naveen Kumar

AAU: SB Neog

NARC:Jwala Bajracharya

Project staff

FOSRIN staff have a range of expertise, as detailed below. The European participants have complementary expertise in natural resources, policy and agricultural economics, with considerable experience in South Asia. The Indian and Nepalese partners provide considerable experience in farmer- and community-focussed work in natural resources and socio-economics, as well as genetic and agronomic capacity. They all have access to experimental field sites and farmer networks, as well as substantial technical staff experienced in these disciplines.


Phil Hollington

Picture of Phil Hollington Dr Hollington gained his PhD in grassland agronomy in 1984, and has long experience of both tropical and temperate agriculture. After his PhD, he worked on seed production in forage legumes in the UK (IGER), moving to CAZS in 1989. He has 7 years' experience in participatory techniques for crop improvement and agronomic experimentation in India and Pakistan, as well as considerable knowledge of the agricultural sector in universities, provincial and federal government in Pakistan. Prior to FOSRIN, Dr Hollington coordinated multi-partner projects in Europe and Asia for ODA and DFID and the EC (INCO and Asia-Link).

John Witcombe

Picture of John Witcombe Professor Witcombe holds a PhD in plant genetics, and is Director of CAZS-NR. Until 2005 he managed the DFID Plant Sciences Research Programme, and was a Member of the Board of Trustees of CIMMYT. He has many years of experience in Asia (India, Pakistan and Nepal) and in the Middle East (Syria, Iran and Iraq). Prof Witcombe has particular experience in farmer participation in development of agricultural technologies; participatory plant breeding and participatory varietal selection; marker-assisted selection and agricultural biodiversity.

Dave Harris

Dave Harris Dr Harris has wide experience of research in tropical and sub-tropical farming systems. After his PhD he has worked on: intercropping of tropical crops in India (ICRISAT) and in the UK (University of Nottingham); soil- and water management and agronomy of cereals and legumes in Botswana (ODA/SACAR L&WMP); soil- and water management and agronomy of banana production in the Windward Islands; research programme management (DFID Plant Sciences Research Programme), and agronomy and crop physiology of cereals and legumes in S. Asia and Africa). Work since 1995 has focused on improving, using farmer-participatory approaches, the stand establishment, growth and yield of cereals and legumes in marginal environments of India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Krishna Joshi

Krishna Joshi

Dr Krishna Joshi is the Head of the CAZS-NR Regional Office for South Asia, based in Kathmandu. A Bangor PhD, he has extensive experience of participatory methodology in natural resources, and has travelled extensively in South Asia.


Rolf Mueller

photo of Rolf MuellerProf Mueller is, since 1990, Professor of Agricultural Economics in the Dept. of Agricultural Economics, University at Kiel. He gained his PhD from Kiel in 1977 and has since gained much international experience, including 2 periods as Visiting International Scholar at UC Davis (1997/98 and 2005). From 1984-1990 he was Principal Economist at ICRISAT, Hyderabad, India. He has also had periods at N Carolina State and Purdue in the USA, and at the University of New England, Armidale, Australia. Prof Mueller's current interests include information and innovation in agriculture and agribusiness; economics of agricultural research and research management, and analysis and design of institutions governing resource allocation in agriculture. He has acted as a consultant to several international organisations, including IFPRI; World Bank; ACIAR; FED, Brussels; and GTZ.

Matteus von Oppen

Prof von Oppen is an internal research consultant at the University of Kiel and a former Professor of Agricultural Marketing of the University of Stuttgart-Hohenheim where his area of specialization was agricultural marketing in developing countries. He has unparalleled research experience in India, including field research for his PhD at the University of Jabalpur, conducting and directing research at ICRISAT, India, as principal economist and program director, and supervising numerous doctoral research projects on Indian agriculture. He has coordinated two DFG-funded large-scale and long-term research programmes in West Africa and South-East Asia

Doreen Buergelt

Doreen Burgelt Ms Buergelt is a PhD student in Kiel, supervised by Prof Mueller. She is working on the supply chain for ricebean in India and Nepal, and will be spending a considerable amount of time in Asia over the course of the project.






Peter Andersen

Peter AndersenDr Andersen is since 1991 Førsteamanuensis / Associate professor of Environmental Geography in the Department of Geography, University of Bergen. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography from Roskilde University Centre, Denmark. From 1985 to 1988 he was Research fellow, and from 1988 - 1991 Associate Professor at Roskilde. His current research themes involve linkages between environmental factors and human nutrition in Asia; Agricultural strategies for micronutrient nutrition; and Soil erosion and conservation.

Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas (subcontractor to UB)

Elin Gjengedahl

Elin GjengedahlDr Gjemhedahl holds a PhD in Environmental Chemistry. She is also an expert in inorganic analytical chemistry and waste management, working in the Dept. of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Aas. From 1995 to 2001 she was section manager of the Inorganic analytical section in the Laboratory of analytical chemistry.


JP Yadavendra

JP YadavendraDr Yadavendra holds a PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics. He is Full time Coordinator (Research) for crops in the Western India Rainfed Farming Project in KRIBHCO under the aegis of Gramin Vikas Trust. Previously, he was Professor and Departmental Head from Gujarat Agricultural University, Anand. He has been responsible for the release of 12 varieties of grain legumes released in India between 1980 and 1999; 11 oilseeds between 1989 and 2002, and 1 variety of rice in 2002, as well as 2 forages also released in 2005. Has published 58 research articles, 32 popular articles and 1 book article. Dr Yadavendra has been closely involved with the development of a new cropping system involving groundnut as a base crop and pigeonpea as an intercrop – the first such system in these crops. He also has long experience in farmer participatory research.


Naveen Kumar

Naveen KumarDr Kumar holds a PhD in Agronomy from PAU, Ludhiana. Currently he is designated Scientist Agronomy at the Fodder Production and Grassland Management Centre of CSKHPKV. He has 16 years experience, including work on temperate forage crops, forage cereal and legume production, and is currently working on the management and improvement of temperate and tropical grasslands, pasture and other forage resources. He has been involved in a number of national research projects, including “Bio-chemical characterization of rice bean germplasm and improvement in its nutritional quality and yield with agronomic appraisal.” This involves collecting and evaluating ricebean germplasm from several states in India for traits such as production, quality and disease resistance, and studies on the effect of agronomic management on productivity and quality of elite strains.


Seuji Neog

Seiji NeogDr Neog, Senior Scientist in the All India Coordinated Research Programme on Forage Crops at AAU, holds a PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics from AAU, where her professional career has been spent. Her thesis was on the “Genetics of seed yield and seed quality characteristics in blackgram ( Vigna mungo L. Hepper) and greengram ( Vigna radiata L. Wilczek) and their interspecific hybridization through embryo culture”, two crops closely related to ricebean. Dr Neog has 16 years research and extension experience. Initially involved in breeding maize, she has also worked on soybean and has been involved in the collection, evaluation and screening of ricebean germplasm for higher forage and dry matter yield and for performance in the rabi season, and in a hybridization programme to develop varieties of ricebean with high biomass yield as well as dual purpose nature.


Jwala Bajracharya

Jwala Bajracharya Dr Bajracharya recently completed a PhD study at the University of Wales, Bangor, UK on the characterisation of rice landrace diversity, using the same molecular and participatory techniques that are to be used in the project. She is a senior scientist in the Agricultural Botany Division in NARC. She has over 20 years experience in the characterisation of genetic diversity of crops.


Pratap Shrestha

Pratap Shrestha Dr. Pratap Kumar Shrestha is a Nepali born scientist. He has completed his M.SC in Agricultural Economics from University of East Anglia, U.K and his Ph.D in Natural Resource Management from University of Wales, Bangor, UK. Dr Shrestha has started his professional carrier as Trainer/Technologist. He then joined Lumle Agricultural Research Centre (LARC) and contributed as socio-economist for 8 years. Since then, he was involved with Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) as Senior Programme officer. He is now the executive director of LI-BIRD. Dr. Shrestha has expertise in Social research and development, participatory approaches, documentation and management of local knowledge, social mobilisation, and natural resource management. He has more than 40 papers and technical articles, including 8 book contributions.

Resham Gautem

Mr. Resham Gautam is a senior Agronomist in Nepal. He has completed his Masters of Science in Agronomy from University of Nottingham, UK. He has more than 9 years of professional experience in agriculture research and development. He has started his career as agriculturist. He worked as researcher, loan officer and agriculture officer during his tenure. Mr. Gautam was also a lecturer of Agronomy in Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science in Nepal. He has expertise in Participatory research and development (PR&D), Community biodiversity management, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), PR&D in agriculture and natural resources management. He has more than 15 papers and technical articles.


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