World Food Forum

Filippo M. Bassi

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Senior Durum Breeder – International Center for the Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) Consultative Group for International Agriculture Research (CGIAR)

Since 2012 he is located in Rabat, Morocco where he leads the international breeding program of ICARDA for the improvement of durum wheat. This program aims at delivering to farmers in the developing World superior varieties that increase the productivity per unit of land in face of the climatic challenges. Since its inception in 1981, this breeding program has released more than 92 varieties in over 20 countries.

In his leading role he has conducted several missions in Ethiopia, India, Senegal, Mauritania, Lebanon, Algeria, Tunisia, and several other countries to investigate and improve the performances of local plant scientists and farmers. He is promoting the deployment of the most advanced biotechnology and statistical techniques in combination with the wide use of landraces and wild relatives to achieve the sustainable improvement of top yielding varieties.

He holds a PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics from North Dakota State University and a Master in Plant Biotechnology from a joint program between the University of Reggio Emilia and the University of Adelaide. He was recognized with the prestigious Beachell-Borlaug Scholarship. He is currently advisor to 11 PhD students from India, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Senegal, and Syria. He is part of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Expert Working Group in Durum Wheat of the Wheat Initiative. He is also an active communicator via social media to prevent the misinformation provided by non-experts. Finally, he supports the integration between public and private enterprises to deliver from poverty countries in Africa and the Middle East.

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