“Let there be food to eat”

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“We want to feed the people, we don’t want them to go hungry. We have to do something to make sure there is food on the table. That is where my motivation is… Let there be food to eat.”

— Ruth Wanyera, 2019

The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) has long attributed its widespread impact and reach to strong collaborations with national agricultural research systems (NARS) around the world. Today, CIMMYT — and especially the Global Wheat Program and the CGIAR Research Program on Wheat — wish to honor one long-term collaborator whose work and dedication to wheat research has had abiding positive effects beyond her home region of sub-Saharan Africa.

Ruth Wanyera, national wheat research program coordinator at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), has spent her more than 30-year career dedicated to plant protection research, fueled by her motivation to “feed the people.” She was one of the first scientists to recognize stem rust in east Africa and has been one of CIMMYT’s strongest allies in fighting the devastating wheat disease, stem rust Ug99.

Wanyera recently won both the Norman Borlaug Lifetime Achievement Award from the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative and the Kenya Agricultural Research (KARA) Award at the High Panel Conference on Agricultural Research in Kenya. Wanyera’s team at KALRO has also been recognized with the prestigious Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) Gene Stewardship Award.

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