Kayode Abiola Sanni

Rice Project Manager

Kayode Abiola Sanni has over 20 years experience in agricultural research and development, science and technology, leadership in genetics, plant breeding, genetic resources and project management. He has greatly contributed to research towards food security in Africa through management of genetic resources, varietal development, registration, release and dissemination. Kayode holds a PhD in Plant Breeding from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria, an MSc in Environmental Genetics and a BSc in Agriculture (Soil Science) both from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. His PhD work was focused on New Rice for Africa (NERICA) and he serverd as a Postdoctoral Fellow as molecular biologist at the Genetic Diversity and Improvement Program of Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice). Prior to joining AATF, Kayode was the Head of Genetic Resources Unit and the Coordinator of International Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice in Africa (INGER-Africa) at AfricaRice, where he led and managed the collection, conservation and utilisation of rice genetic resources. He was the lead scientist for the international rice evaluation and varietal release program cutting across 30 African countries, which led to the registration and release of rice varieties in the different countries. Kayode served as the focal point of AfricaRice at several levels such as, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and all issues relating to genetic biodiversity and Intellectual Property Rights. He took active part in multi-country donor-funded projects at AfricaRice. He also provided technical backstopping to national research scientists in Sub-Saharan Africa, and supervising post graduate students. He played a significant role in the establishment of varietal release system in the republic of Benin and was part of the committee that compiled the rice component of the first varietal catalogue of the country. Prior to that Kayode worked at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria, in various capacities, firstly with the Maize Breeding Program and later with the Genetic Resources Center, where he worked on the Genetic profiling of three of the IITA mandate Crops. Kayode participates in the crop technical sub-committee of the National Varietal Release Committee of Nigeria as an international expert on rice. He has published heavily in scientific journals, conference papers, books and book chapters, posters, flyers, bulletins. As the Project Manager Rice, he provides overall leadership to the research and product development of the rice projects – translating strategic aims into achievable plans, establishing priorities, and ensuring the integration of technical, legal, communication, regulatory, and product deployment elements of the projects. Kayode is a national of Nigeria.