The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
has come up with this online database of women scientists working in
the field of agriculture.
The database’s objectives are:
* To promote activities such as diversity-positive recruitment.
* To promote international teamwork among women agriculturalists
* To promote cross-cultural communications among women scientists in the agricultural sector.
* Showcase women talent in the field of agriculture.
* Advance women’s interests by availing information on scholarships and agricultural-related training opportunities.
I am more interested in the last two objectives. CGIAR largely operates
in developing countries that suffer chronic food shortages. Among its
many programs, CGIAR uses modern agricultural biotechnology to solve
poor countries’ food problems.
There is a whole gamut of women scientists working in the field of
agricultural biotechnology. Many have, and continue to excel in their
respective areas of specialization. Africa, for example, has Dr.
Florence Wambugu who has distinguished herself as an ardent advocate of
agricultural biotechnology as an affective tool to alleviate hunger and
There are more women scientists of Dr. Wambugu’s competence in the
developing world, but they are hardly known beyond the borders of their
countries. Existing societal biases makes it hard from them to explore
opportunities for advancement. This makes it hard for them to grow both
professionally and career wise. This database must elevate the profile
of such women scientists. The agricultural world needs them.
The biotech industry is fast gaining prominence. Africa and other
developing regions of the world would only benefit from the many
potential applications of biotechnology not only by developing a mass
of well trained biotechnologists, but also exposing them to the world.
This database is an invaluable avenue for women scientists wishing to
explore the world.
To ensure that this database better benefits women scientists, CGIAR
should consider working closely with national and international
scientific institutions because they well understand the needs of their