Dr. James Micah Onsando

Consultant International Seed and Seed Systems

Dr. Onsando has over 40 years of Agricultural background. He possesses over 30years’ extensive experience in seed and seed systems including seed regulation, phytosanitary science and practice, seed policy, seed laws and regulations, seed systems, plant breeding, plant variety registration and protection, seed quality value chain and agri-business including seed business. His general management and leadership are supported by a very strong finance and interpersonal, influencing, negotiation and communication skills. He has a PhD in plant pathology and to his credit 30 publications which include two chapters in two books.  In his 40 years’ agricultural career he has worked at different places in public, private and NGO sub – sectors, culminating in his appointment as the Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director of Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) which is a Kenyan Agricultural Regulatory Agency and a Regional Centre of Excellency and before then a member of the Board of Management of the same organisation for 9 years. Dr. Onsando took an active role in the accession of KEPHIS to UPOV, OECD seed schemes, IPPC and ISTA accreditation of the KEPHIS seed laboratory. He was also involved at policy level in the integration and harmonization of regional economic communities (EAC, COMESA and SADC) seed laws and regulations in order to foster cross border seed trade. Dr Onsando is currently, an international seed and seed systems consultant and he has consulted for Gates Foundation, AGRA, USAID, AATF, University of Greenwich in the UK, East African Tea Trade Association, J.E. AUSTIN ASOCIATES, INC in the USA and African Union on a number of times in a number of African Countries.

James also brings on board more than 10 years’ experience in agri-entrepreneurship and supply chains (Flowers and Tea) and the associated research, innovation, investment and commercialization of products, sustainable agriculture, environment, food safety and a thorough understanding of marketing skills having worked for a multinational agricultural business entity (Unilever) as the Technical Manager of the Flower Business and the Head of Agricultural Research and Sustainability of the Tea Business for 14 years. This background makes him fully operational in commercial R&D where product innovation, proof of concept, product development and differentiation, a business case development to inform investment and the actual commercialization process is the way of life. This background is important in the development of the seed investment plans which are key in seed transformation process in Africa.