New leader for agricultural development in South, Central Asia

Hyderabad: Small-scale vegetable farmers in South and Central Asia have a new advocate in Dr. Ramakrishnan (Ram) M. Nair, who has been appointed by the World Vegetable Center (WorldVeg) to lead operations for the region from Hyderabad, India.

As Regional Director for South and Central Asia, Dr. Nair will collaborate with donors and partners, develop new projects, and extend the research, development, and capacity-building work of WorldVeg through networks to benefit farmers and consumers all along the region’s vegetable value chain.

He also leads the WorldVeg global legume breeding program and the International Mungbean Improvement Network (IMIN).

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Ram has more than 30 years of experience in managing and leading national and international projects. He began his career in 1986 as an Agricultural Officer (Extension) in the Department of Agriculture, Government of Kerala. Ram spent ten years as a forage breeder at the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) in Adelaide and four years at the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Victoria, Australia. There he researched a range of plant species including Medicago, Trifolium, Trigonella, Melilotus, Lolium and Atriplex. In 1998, Ram was seconded to the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Aberystwyth, UK.

“Ram’s proven ability to build strong and productive partnerships will help improve seed systems and food safety, and promote healthier diets and job creation in India and throughout South and Central Asia,” said Dr. Marco Wopereis, Director General of the World Vegetable Center.

Ram completed a Professional Management Program from the School of Business, the University of Adelaide in 2010. He attended a 2019 course on gender-responsive plant breeding organized by Makerere and Cornell Universities as part of their Gender-responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) project.

His extensive publication record includes 70 peer-reviewed journal articles, 65 conference papers and, 12 book chapters. He is a member of the International Legume Society, serves as the Regional Secretary (India) for the Society for Advancement of Breeding Research in Asia and Oceania (SABRAO), and is a member of the Editorial Board for the SABRAO Journal of Breeding and Genetics and of the Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANRES) Journal.

In 2008, he won the SARDI Breakthrough Innovation Award.

Dr. Nair, an Indian national, received his PhD degree in plant breeding from Kerala Agricultural University, India.

The World Vegetable Center established operations in South Asia in 2006 in Hyderabad, India.

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