Holderness, Mark

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  • Dr. Holderness, Executive Secretary of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research, began his career working as cocoa pathologist to the Cocoa Board of Papua New Guinea. He was then employed by the intergovernmental technical organization CAB International, working as adviser, then manager, of programmes using science to address constraints to agricultural development. His work included research capacity building, diagnostic and advisory work on pests and diseases of rice, cocoa, bananas, vegetables and oil palm and he pioneered innovative farmer-participatory research and knowledge dissemination on improving rice seed quality and health in Bangladesh. He recently served as Director of Agriculture and Director of Membership and Partnerships for CAB International, addressing national and regional demands by developing and overseeing programmes on invasive species management, information for development and commodity crop sustainability. A Council Member of several scientific societies, he is also Board Vice-Chair for AVRDC, the World Vegetable Centre. His interests cover a wide range of scientific areas and are particularly concerned with knowledge and innovation flows between science and society and their implications for institutional function and rural development. He played a leading role in the multi-stakeholder processes of the International Assessment of the Role of Agricultural Knowledge Science and Technology in Development and presently co-chairs the Partnerships Working Group on CGIAR Change.

  • Bananas
  • Oil palms
  • Theobroma cacao
  • invasive species