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AgroInnovation

Kenya’s top doctor of plants

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Prof Waudo is a specialist in nematodes, worms that cause diseases in crops


Prof Stanley Waudo

Prof Stanley Waudo is one of the people who has played a key role in development of agriculture in Kenya.

The Mt Kenya University vice-chancellor is a plant pathologist.  He specialises in nematodes, which are disease-causing worms, which also earns him title, nematologist.

Plant pathologists are scientists concerned with understanding the processes involved in plant health. This means that to be a good plant pathologist, one needs to interface and integrate plant science,  environmental science, microbiology, genetics, chemistry, and other related disciplines.

Prof Waudo got into this line due to various influences in his life.  He took a degree in biology and chemistry because of his love for biology. He followed this up with a Master’s degree in plant pathology and proceeded with this line because of his inclination towards agriculture

He attained his PhD at Iowa State University in the US.

Since Kenya’s economy relies heavily on agriculture, it is crucial for the country to have many nematologists.  In 1980, there was only one nematologist in the country working at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute.

Nematologists goal is to deduce how to manage and control diseases caused by pathogens.

Without plant pathologists to diagnose and manage such problems,  farmers would face huge losses and food supply would be severely affected.

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