Kamanda Isata

Isata Kamanda 29, is a devoted Christian whose faith is in Jehovah God. While growing upI had a passion of becoming a nurse (professional career) in futureas a means of saving lives. As I sailed through both primary and secondary education in the cityI knew little about farming or Agriculture. After gaining admission into the Njala UniversitySierra LeoneI found myself studying for a B.Sc. (Hons.) degree in crop science (2006 -2010).
Fortunately upon completion of my undergraduate degree programI had to enrol again (in 2010) to pursue a master s degree in Crop Science with the same university. It was at this point that I truly developed a passion for farming and agriculture as my research interest at the time focused onThe application of white lime as calcium source for pod filling in groundnut. I worked on improving groundnut pod filling in order to enhance resource poor farmers incomes whilst linking my research with the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI). Am grateful to God for his divine favor because upon completion I was extremely lucky to gain employment with SLARI. My professional engagement with SLARI exposed me to the real usefulness of agriculture as an avenue for poverty alleviation. As currently a first year student at the WAAPP-sponsored doctorate program with the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement at the University of Ghana Legon I have further realized the need to make a difference in the lives of our resource-poor farmers with more emphasis on marginalized women and children and improving the wellbeing of communities in my country that are stricken with poverty. At WACCI I m hoping to learn breeding with both the conventional and molecular genetics breeding techniques to enhance my capacity to be able to improve on the level of Beta Carotene in cassava. I wish to get involved in regional level research to improve my professional visibility and be a role model to the younger women coming into the scientific research profession in Sierra Leone and in the sub region. My profound gratitude goes to my sponsorsWAAPP-Sierra Leone for according me such an outstanding award. I m promising that I would explore all the opportunities given to me in WACCI as they would broaden my horizon and help me in moving up the scientific ladder and making my own little contribution to food and nutritional security and poverty reduction in my beloved country (Sierra Leone) and in the sub region with God being my helper. FinallyI want to thank God for making my life a living testimony by blessing me with such an award to become a member of a world class center of excellence for training plant breeders (WACCI).