Dr. Paul SewardHead, Extension & Capacity Building
In 2003, Paul founded Farm Input Promotions Africa Ltd. (FIPS-Africa), a not-for-profit Kenyan Company dedicated to improving the food security and livelihoods of small-holder farmers in East Africa. For the last 15 years, he has travelled widely within the Region to work with, and learn from numerous smallholder farmers and to assist develop a private sector-led Extension Approach to catalyze the adoption of the appropriate farm inputs to improve the productivity of a diverse range of crops and livestock. This Extension Approach, which involves the selection and training of self-employed Village-based Advisors, is currently benefiting hundreds of thousands of small-holder farmers in Kenya, and Tanzania, in a sustainable way. He has also advised private sector seed and fertilizer Companies in Nigeria, DR Congo and South Sudan on how to implement this Approach.
Prior to coming to Kenya, Paul worked for a Fertilizer Company (now Yara) as a Scientist in their Centre for Plant Nutrition and Environmental Research in Germany developing new innovative fertilizers. In 1992, he joined the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Programme (TSBF) based in Nairobi, where he assisted to co-ordinate soil fertility research by Scientists in National Agricultural Research Institutes and Universities in East and Southern Africa. After 3 years at TSBF, he returned to work in the fertilizer research Centre in Germany, but continued to advise, on a voluntary basis, a Kenyan NGO on how to improve soil fertility, how to rapidly create demand for, and how to help small-holder farmers gain access to the appropriate fertilizers to improve their food security. This proved to be successful and in 2000, he returned to live in Kenya to scale up this work in partnership with private sector Farm Input Supply Companies.
Paul holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Science (Crop Science) from Leeds University, and a PhD in Soil Science/Plant nutrition from the University of Reading (UK).