Just a small change to their farming methods can have a big impact on their livelihood.
Stuart believes the vegetable farming sector is so often overlooked—and he wants to change that.
He leads the knowledge transfer team which is focused on building business for vegetable farmers in areas where the market is less developed. In these countries, his team works hard to strengthen smallholders’ skills and “lay down an environment where the company helps grow farmers’ businesses in the best sense. We want to share knowledge with farmers for growing better quality vegetables and creating more sustainable production systems.”
Stuart’s job is all about building partnerships. He works closely with the extension managers of the company in each country, and builds relationships with government and NGOs to put knowledge transfer at the forefront of improving farmers’ productivity.
When asked what puts a smile on his face, Stuart replied, “It is so satisfying to see farmers changing their production systems and making a good business for themselves. Just a small change to their farming methods can have a big impact on their livelihood.” He enjoys seeing farmers begin to develop their own innovations and learn from their successes and failures. “It’s not just about us telling them how to grow vegetables. It’s giving them the tools to find better opportunities for themselves in the future.”
Current position : Director East-West Seed Knowledge Transfer
Works for East-West Seed since : 2012
Based in : Chiang Mai, Thailand
Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, England MSc in International Development
Merrist Wood College, Surrey, England Horticulture