Our Team


consists of six partners with varied backgrounds and skills. Short portraits of the team are displayed below.

Portrait of Ralph Roothaert

Ralph Roothaert

Ralph has 22 years of experience in agricultural research and development, private sector partnerships, monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment. He has lived and worked in Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, UK and the Netherlands, and also has working experience in Malawi, Uganda and Rwanda. He has developed agricultural value chains in East Africa based on enhancing strong producer organisations, active citizenship, women's economic leadership, market infrastructure, enabling policies at national and local government level, and business models with small to large companies. Ralph is effective in facilitating multistakeholder processes, learning and developing programme strategies. He is an experienced manager of project cycles, organisational risks and finance. He is a keen practitioner and teacher of gender analysis. He is originally from the Netherlands with a PhD from Wageningen University in Agriculture; MSc from Edinburg University, and BSc from Larenstein College - both in Animal Production. Go to Ralph's Linked profile.

Portrait of Nico Bakker

Nico Bakker

With 20 years of on-the-ground experience in Africa, SE Asia and Latin America, Nico has become a specialist in the areas of Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, Sustainable Agriculture (from practices to policies) and Food Security. Within these focus areas, Nico has in particular worked on capacity development of organisations and staff. Originally from the Netherlands, Nico is fluent in Dutch, English, Portuguese and French (with a working knowledge of Spanish). He has well-developed analytical and communication skills and routinely applies participatory approaches in his work. He is furthermore well versed in the use and training of planning and management tools like Results-Based Management (RBM), Facilitation of Change Processes, Objective Oriented Project Planning (LogFrames), SWOT analysis, Participatory Rural Appraisal, etc. What fascinates Nico in development work in general is the recurring cognitive dissonance in projects and programmes. Nico has recently returned from Burkina Faso, and is currently based in northern Portugal.

Portrait of Janske van Eijck

Janske van Eijck

Janske’s main expertise is in the field of bioenergy in which she has more than 10 years' experience. She has a strong academic background with a PhD that focused on socio-economic impacts of biofuels in developing countries. She also has extensive hands-on experience with implementing projects, which she gained while managing a bioenergy facility in Tanzania for three years. As researcher and project manager/coordinator, she has worked with numerous stakeholders; local communities, smallholder farmers, national authorities and international (research) groups. She is passionate about stimulating rural development, and enhancing sustainability taking several aspects such as feedstock, cultural values and the balance between economic and social benefits into account. Countries of work experience are Tanzania, Mozambique, Mali, Kenya, Benin, Argentina and Indonesia. Go to Janske's Linked profile

Portrait of Flemming Nielsen

Flemming Nielsen

Currently working for IITA as Farming Systems Analyst for the Humid Tropics programme, Flemming is based in Bukavu, D.R. Congo. He enjoys working with innovative approaches to rural development, creating synergy between researchers, farmers and NGOs - particularly along themes of food security, biofuels, carbon financing, agroforestry and local knowledge. With a PhD and Post-Doc in Agricultural Geography Flemming has a solid background in agricultural research and has over the years developed skills in research and project management, GIS (in particular using Open Source Software), Internet technologies - as well as photography. Originally from Denmark, he has focused on sub-Saharan Africa, living and working there for over 14 years (principally Mozambique, Uganda, the Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania). Mastering and understanding multiple disciplines and finding solutions that will lead to results under difficult circumstances in the field are Flemming's forte.

Portrait of Julia Wright

Julia Wright

From the UK, Julia's main expertise is as sustainable agriculture and food security development researcher, specialising in building capacity and resilience of vulnerable groups to natural and man-made disasters, regeneration of the natural resource base, and low-carbon systems. Her sectoral experience covers production and postharvest, agroforestry, food supply and distribution systems, urban agriculture and nutrition, organic and fair trade, bioregional development, research, extension and knowledge systems, and farmer livelihood strategies. Specific country experience in Europe – UK, Netherlands and Spain; Central and South America – Peru, Mexico, Cuba, Brazil and Jamaica; Asia – Afghanistan, China, Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia; and Africa – Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya and Nigeria. Besides consulting, Julia is presently Deputy Director at the Centre for Agroecology and Food Security at Coventry University, UK.

Portrait of Mundie Salm

Mundie Salm

Originally from Canada, Mundie's professional activities focus on education and communications about sustainable development. Topics of special interest are agriculture, food security and social justice. She has degrees in International development (BSc) and Ecological agriculture (MSc), and is currently working on a Master's of Education. Mundie's work experience includes agricultural curriculum and teaching materials development; and coordination and production of various publications on the above themes (research, writing, editing and translation). She has worked in international and local NGOs, educational institutions, a UN agency, and as consultant for various clients. Countries of work experience are the Netherlands, Canada, Mozambique, Lesotho and Australia. Currently, Mundie works at the Centre of Development Innovation at Wageningen University and Research Centre (Netherlands), in curriculum development for Agricultural TVET schools in Afghanistan. Go to Mundie's LinkedIn profile.