Brigid Letty has been appointed by ACDEP (Association of Church-based Development Projects), the NGO that coordinates the Proli-FaNS (Promoting local innovation for Food and Nutrition Security) project under the umbrella of the Prolinnova network, to take over the role as Subregional Coordinator (SRC) in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA). She replaces Amanuel Assefa, who resigned as SRC as of 31 March 2019 because of a very heavy workload from other assignments.
Brigid is an agricultural development specialist and Principle Scientist with the Institute of Natural Resources (INR) in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. She has a BSc in Agriculture (majoring in animal science) and an MSc focused on range and forage resources. She is doing research for a PhD in agroforestry systems at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
Before joining INR in 2003, Brigid worked for six years in the Farming Systems Research Section of the KZN Department of Agriculture. With INR, especially though her work with Prolinnova, she developed considerable experience in analysing and facilitating multistakeholder innovation processes in small-scale farming. She coordinated Prolinnova’s multi-CP project HAPID, which focused on local innovation and participatory innovation development in the face of HIV/AIDS; as well as the action research in South Africa in the European Union project JOLISAA (Joint Learning in Innovation Systems in African Agriculture). She has also served as an elected member of the Prolinnova Oversight Group (POG) and played a key role in developing the strategy documents to guide the international Prolinnova network in the periods 2011–15 and 2016–20. She has been coordinator of the Prolinnova–South Africa platform since several years and was recently elected by the CPs in ESA to lead the Prolinnova taskforce in the subregion.
Brigid will work together with Georges Djohy, the SRC for West & Central Africa, and with the taskforces in the two subregions in Africa to coordinate mutual learning, South–South mentoring and policy dialogue at subregional and regional level to mainstream farmer-led participatory research and development into institutions of agricultural research, advisory services and higher education.