Dr. Immaculate N. Maina is the Centre Director at the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Food Crops Research Centre, Njoro. KALRO Njoro Research Centre has the national mandate for wheat and oil crops breeding in Kenya. The Centre has a staff establishment of 100 members of staff that includes a multi-disciplinary team of 33 scientists who work in breeding and biotechnology; soil sciences; food chemistry; human nutrition; agronomy; crop protection as well as socio-economics.
Dr. Maina has over 15 years of experience in agricultural research. Her research work focuses on pro-poor agri-food system innovations, seed systems, gender and development, value chain development, rural innovations, adoption studies and the functioning of the relations that underlie scaling up of agricultural technologies for improved rural livelihoods; as well as monitoring and evaluation. She has led a project on development of agri-food systems funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and on development of pro-poor agro-enterprise value chains funded by the Ford Foundation.
She has taught PhD. level students on “Application of Innovations Systems in Agriculture and Rural Development” at the Department of Agricultural Education and Extension, Egerton University, Kenya. She has published on food security, gender and agriculture, rural farming systems, as well as on environment and climate change issues in the agriculture sector. Her peer reviewed articles have been published in the Climate Change Thematic Area Working Paper series of the Future Agricultures Consortium of the Institute of Development studies (IDS), UK, the Springer Food Security Journal, Journal of Soil Science and Environmental Management, Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, African Crop Science Journal. She has also authored and presented more than 30 conference papers and co-authored two book chapters.
Immaculate graduated magna cum laude with a Doctorate Degree in Agriculture (Dr. sc. agr.) from Justus-Liebig University, Giessen, Germany (on a DAAD Scholarship); Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Nutritional Sciences and Environmental Management. The PhD. study focused on agricultural technology and information as catalysts in research-extension-farmer linkages for rural development. She acquired her Masters degree in Agricultural Extension and a Bachelor of Education degree in Botany/Zoology both from the Faculty of Education and Community Studies of Egerton University, Kenya.