Ronnie Vernooy

Trained as a rural development sociologist (at Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands), I joined Bioversity International [now the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT] in October 2011. I have worked on questions related to the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity for more than 30 years in countries around the world (e.g., Bhutan, China, Cuba, Mongolia, Nepal, Nicaragua, South Africa, Uganda and Vietnam). My expertise is participatory action research including monitoring and evaluation, social and gender analysis, and capacity development. I have written and edited, jointly with research partners, briefs, papers, articles, book-chapters and books in Chinese, English, French, Mongolian and Spanish. Before joining Bioversity International, I worked as a senior program specialist at the International Development Research Centre in Canada (1992-2010) on similar topics.

One topic of particular interest is community seedbanks (as a form of collective action) and their roles in providing voice and choice to farmers to keep local crop diversity and associated knowledge in own hands and alive. Women often play key roles as seed custodians and managers. They deserve more recognition and support, which I try to address in my work.