Ugandan woman gets top position

Dr Fina Opio.

This month, Dr Fina Opio took over as Executive Director of ASARECA, an international agricultural organisation that covers eastern and central Africa, and is based in Entebbe, becoming the first female head since it was established in 1994.

“Poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition are steadily advancing threats. We can effectively stop the advance by mobilising and sharing human capital and infrastructural resources to increase agricultural production and opening up markets,” said Dr. Opio. She brings on board over 20 years of experience in agricultural research, technology development and and gender issues.

Until her new appointment, she was the manager for ASARECA’s Staple Crops Programme since 2007.

During her tenure, the programme, working with various partners, made advances in combating cassava brown streak disease, cassava mosaic, banana bacterial wilt and banana xanthomonas wilt, among others.

Prior to joining ASARECA in 2007, she was the Director of the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), one of the nine Institutes of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) in Uganda.

Dr. Opio holds a PhD in Plant Pathology from Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania; an MSc in Crop Science from University of Nairobi, Kenya; and a BSc in Agriculture from Makerere University.