Sobda Gonne

My name is Sobda Gonne. I m a last-born in a polygamous family of many wives and children. I was born at Goinga farming village located in the District of KalMayo-Kani Division in the far northern region of Cameroon. My late father was a farmer. Crop production and cattle raising were his main activities while my motherlike most of the women in my villageworked on the small tasks of the household. My interest for agriculture developed at the early stages of my life when I started accompanying my parents to the farm. While helping them I realized that they usually made a lot of effort to take care of the various crops they were growing but the yields obtained were not sufficient. Hence I thought that I could help the agricultural sector by studying in agricultural domain to acquire knowledge that will help increase food production and make food available in the world and alleviate poverty.  To achieve this aimI did my BS.c in crop production at the Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural SciencesUniversity of Dschang (Cameroon). Then I was hired by the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development (IRAD) as a Research Assistant in Annual crop with emphasis on Legumes. I joined the team of Senior Researchers working at Cowpea Unit. To build my career as a scientistI obtained a scholarship from the Universities Commission for Development (CUD) to pursue my MSc. in Crop Protection organized jointly at the University of Louvain (Belgium)Facult Universitaire des Sciences Agronomiques (Belgium) and SupAgro of Montpellier (France). Back in CameroonI had to take over the Cowpea Unit as the Senior Researchers were moved to serve at other Institutions. LaterI joined University of Virginia (USA) as a visiting researcher where I learned some basic techniques in molecular plant breedingafter which I started cowpea breeding activities with the aim of becoming a plant breeder.  My admission into the WACCI PhD program with the financial support of Kirkhouse Trust Project (UK) is an opportunity given to me to achieve what has been my dream for a long time. My challenge is to work hard and be able to develop improved cowpea varieties resistant to strigadiseases and insects for the farmers of Cameroon in particular and Africa in general.