Stella Kabiri participated in the 6th African Agricultural Science week and Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) held between 15 and 20 July, in Accra, Ghana. She formed part of the finals of the 3rd Africa-wide women and young professionals science competition. After two rounds of competition, Stella received an invitation to present her paper on: “Landscape scale management of invasive Cymbopogon afronardus in the rangelands of Uganda.” This study quantifies the state of the environment of Uganda’s rangelands by mapping its spatial distribution. I observed that Cymbopogon afronardus covers 9.300 km2 and has invaded 11% of Uganda’s rangelands. In this state it poses a threat to ecosystem services provided by the rangelands, as it is major source of cheap nutrition for indigenous cattle and wild herbivores including zebras, impalas, buffaloes and elephants. The study confirmed Cymbopogon afronardus’ allelopathic properties and demonstrated its potential use in bio-herbicide formulations that can be a source of income for resource poor farmers and pastoralists.
After a tough competition with ten other talented young scientists Stella finished second place. The prize was handed over to Stella by Professor Monty Jones, director of FARA and the developer of NERICA rice varieties. Stella feels very honoured to obtain the position of runner-up in this prestigious event. Upon her return to Wageningen, Dr Lammert Bastiaans, Dr Aad van Ast and the other colleagues of the Crop Systems Analysis group celebrated with some cake.
Stella's presentation can be accessed here.