Louis BUTARE is currently working in Improving Crops and serve as a Scientist in Plant Breeding and Coordinator of West and Central Africa Bean Research Network (WECABREN) for the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, and based in Cotonou, Benin. Our mission is to establish productive and synergistic working relationships with National Agriculture Research Institutes (NARS), represent WECABREN, identify critical constraints to bean production in the region and develop new bean varieties together with NARS partners, strengthening seed systems, and enhance capacity and supporting NARS breeding teams, identify farmer opportunities, mapping crop value chains, and facilitate farmers’ linkage to financial institutions, inputs supply and market. I started in carrier in Bean research since June 1999 with Rwanda agriculture research institute (ISAR).
Louis holds a MSc and PhD Degree in Agricultural Sciences and Biological Engineering from Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech – University of Liège (Belgium), with specialization in Plant Pathology, Breeding and Plant Stresses. The PhD work was funded by German Government under GTZ/BMZ/CIAT project: Fighting drought and aluminum toxicity: “Integrating functional genomics, phenotypic screening and participatory evaluation with farmers to develop stress-resistant common bean and brachiaria for the tropics”.
I coordinated several bean research projects funded by Rwanda government and CGIAR centers network on breeding for high yielding, disease resistance, market, and nutritional quality in bean; Genotype development and selection for adaptability to low soil fertility and drought for semi-arid zones in Rwanda; management of soil productivity and bean pests (ISFM and IDPM options); facilitate and improve capacities of communities through bean variety selection. And several funds were awarded to implement different agriculture projects (most of them with a breeding component) through Government of Rwanda funds, CIAT/PABRA, Seed of Hope, ASARECA, CRSP, USDA-NIFA, Kirkhouse Trust, BioInnovate, Harvest-Plus, ACTESA-COMESA, FAO, WFP, ILRI/CCAFS East Africa, etc.
I served also as Rwanda Agriculture Board Southern Agriculture Zone Division Head (Regional Director), and Senior Researcher in Bean Program. I served also as Director General of Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), an organization in charge of Agriculture Research, Technology Transfer and Extension/Advisory Services in Rwanda. I played a central role in implementing the Crop Intensification Program (CIP), a Government of Rwanda program designed to ensure food security in line with Rwanda vision 2020.