Prof. Rhoda Birech - Board Member OCA
Prof. Rhoda Birech is a Board Member of Organic Consumers Alliance (OCA), and an Associate Professor of Sustainable Agriculture with over 25 years of experience in Agronomy with a focus on Sustainable Agricultural Systems. She has a Doctorate degree in Organic Agriculture from the University of Natural Recourses and Life Sciences (BOKU), Austria (2008) and a Post-doctorate in Bio-energy from the same University. Over the years she has involved herself in University level teaching, research, administration, community development, Science, Technology and Innovations (STI) and in related sustainable development endeavors.
Rhoda has a wealth of experience in research and has received a number of awards of excellence in academics and research. She has won various international grants from 2006 to date to coordinate and undertake research in the areas of Organic & Sustainable Agriculture, Agribusiness, Soil Fertility & Fertilizers, Seed Science & Technology, Agroforestry & Forestry, Renewable Energy, Water Resources and Climate Change. Her research outputs are published in various international journals. Besides research, Rhoda has a passion for partnerships building, enterprise development, resource mobilization, mentorship of young scientists and working with farmers and communities. She sits in a number of national and international boards of management at both public and private sectors. She brings all these top level experiences to the Board of OCA.
Rhoda has initiated several programs with rural farmers which are dedicated to promoting rural development through holistic and sustainable small-scale farming, in Kenya and beyond. Her thematic focus and concept is to support organic food production and to build long-term fertility through nutrient cycling and erosion control. Towards that end, she works with farmers to build the integrity of ecosystems by avoiding pollution, using renewable energy and judiciously utilizing water and forest resources to ensure that the agro-ecological systems are bio-diverse and adapted to drought. From agro-value chain perspective, Rhoda has facilitated the linkage of farmers, especially organic farmers, to local and international markets thus creating incomes, jobs, access to healthy foods by discerning consumers and generating wealth in both rural and urban Kenya and beyond: Some of the agro-ecological farms have developed to become Learning Centre’s of Excellence for farmers, consumers, students and scientists. She believes “It is no secret that we will thus secure a bright future”!