Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) is guided by a lean Board of Trustees with wealth of experience in different fields. Ms. Anne Onyango former Agriculture Secretary, State Department for Crop Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, Kenya joined the Board this year. Ms. Onyango was introduced to the BvAT staff during a courtesy call on 30th October 2019 by Mr. Andreas Schriber, the Chair of the Board and Founding Trustee. The other Trustees of the Board are Prof. Judi Wakhungu (Kenya’s Ambassador to the French Republic, Portugal, Serbia and Holy See), Prof. Onesmo ole-MoiYoi and Prof. Christian Borgemeister (Director of the Department of Ecology and Natural Resources Management Bonn University). Dr. David Amudavi BvAT’s Executive Director is Ex-Officio member to the Board.
Ms Anne brings on board a wealth of experience acquired for the last 38 years that she has worked in the agricultural sector. Part of her work life has been at the Ministry of Agriculture in Kenya where she worked and climbed through the ranks to the position of Agriculture Secretary until her retirement last October. She remarked that the Ministry of Agriculture has been using TOF Magazine to prepare ministry policy briefs but of late the copies were not being delivered. She encouraged to the staff to document what farmers do with the information they receive through the TOF Magazine. She lauded the Farmer Communication Programme (FCP) for being close to farmers, and the Ministry having benefitted from Infonet in the Plantwise programme jointly implemented by the Ministry, Centre for Agricultural Bioscience International (CABI), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), University of Nairobi and the Pest Control Products Board. Under this programme the farmers take their infected, infested and affected crops to plant clinics in designated areas where experts (plant doctors) diagnose pests and diseases and advise them accordingly. Infonet has been very valuable to this programme. Madamme Onyango urged the staff not to work in silos but rather understand what every programme is doing in the organisation and create viable strong linkages. She also advised the FCP programme to be sharing information materials, such as The Organic Farmer Magazine, with the Ministry of Agriculture regularly. She was very glad to meet with the staff and looked forward to interacting with them whenever opportunity arises.
The two board members had interesting and fruitful discussions with BvAT staff as they familiarized themselves with BvAT’s programmes and new staff who recently joined the organization. The Chair commented that he was happy to have Madam Anne Onyango join the BvAT Board and would provide valuable advice to BvAT on a range of issues given her solid experience of many years in the agriculture sector, and having retired in a very senior position. He was happy to meet the new staff, Mr. Fred Ochieng joined recently as the FCP Coordinator, Ms. Caroline Nderitu as BvAT’s M&E officer and Obed Ateka who has joined the Finance as project account.
Dr. Amudavi thanked the Chair for introducing the new Board member to the staff and also welcomed Madam Anne Onyango to visit BvAT and staff whenever she has time.