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ACIAR's people at Seeds of Change

Meet some of ACIAR's presenters and facilitators!

Dipika Das

Dipika Das
Dipika Das (second from left)

Dipika Das is a PhD candidate at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia, and a Research Fellow at Global Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies.

She is also a recipient of the John Allwright Fellowship, from Australian Centre of International Agriculture Research (ACIAR).

Her PhD research focuses on exploring the gendered challenges in bargaining for women smallholder farmers in agricultural value chain. Her work with Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)’s social science research team at International Water Management Institute made her realise the potential of gender and culture issues to influence smallholders’ participation in agriculture in the Eastern Gangetic plains. See the DSI4MTF website for more information on this project.

Her study shows, ‘gender and power relations plays an important role for women smallholder farmers to raise their voice and bargain. In such situation, women faces difficulties to access resources and facilities to fully participate in agriculture. While challenging the existing gender norms and breaking the myths in agriculture becomes easier for women who exercise their agency within also plays as a role model for others. Dipika’s interest is in qualitative research, women’s participation in agriculture and bargaining power dynamics.

At Seeds of Change, Dipika will be presenting on "Gendered challenges of bargaining in agricultural value chains in the Eastern Gangetic Plains".

Her publications include:

Watch an interview with Dipika at the conference.


Anne Shangrila Y. Fuentes

Anne Shangrila Y. Fuentes

Anne Shangrila Y. Fuentes is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Social Sciences in UP Mindanao. She finished her MPhil in Sociology at the University of Oxford. She is a 2018 John Dillon fellow of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

She has worked on gender, sexuality and reproductive health research, and has provided training on these areas to a number of government and non-government bodies. Shang has worked with NGOs and People’s Organizations (POs) in Mindanao, including indigenous people. She is currently working on an ACIAR and PCAARRD-DOST-funded research on social capital and agricultural extension in conflict-vulnerable areas of Mindanao. When not on the road, she experiments in the kitchen.

At Seeds of Change, she will be presenting on "Farms not Arms: The role of women farmers in conflict-vulnerable communities in the Philippines" with Dr. Mary Johnson of RMIT University. 

Further reading: 

Watch an interview with Shang at the conference.

Dr Munawar Raza Kazmi

Anne Shangrila Y. Fuentes
Dr Munawar Raza Kazmi

ACIAR’s Country Manager for Pakistan is Dr Munawar Raza Kazmi.

He has been with ACIAR since 2010. Before becoming the first ever Country Manager for Pakistan, he was a researcher at Pakistan’s Agricultural Research Council (PARC). He completed his Masters degree from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad, and his PhD in plant pathology from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, where he specialised in mango disease and farmer training.

Over 15 years as a research scientist he has published over 40 peer-reviewed science articles and books, including:

Additionally, he is a trained facilitator and has worked extensively on the Farmer Field School approach, collaborating with various national organizations and also with international agencies in Vietnam, Bangladesh, China, Thailand and Kyrgyzstan.

In conjunction with this approach, he has co-authored a book: Munawar Raza Kazmi and Roshan Zada, 2002. Facilitation Skills: (A Resource Book). Published by National IPM Programme, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad, Pakistan.

This was produced while working on Farmer Field School approach and facilitating farmers in science

From the biophysical scientific background moving into gender space is quite a challenge but the support from ACIAR in this journey has helped a lot. ACIAR through its engagement in Pakistan has been helping local researchers to develop research strategies leading to economic development with prime focus on gender inclusion. Gender Inclusion studies into biophysical research is a major change – in the past, such studies would have been undertaken separately by “gender specialists”.

At Seeds of Change, he will discuss "Working innovatively for agricultural productivity enhancement and rural transformation through gender inclusiveness – A case study of Pakistan".

He and Gerard McEvilly will also be facilitating discussion at the Roundtable: "Don’t diss my discipline – synergising techos and 'people' people".

Watch his interview at the conference itself!

Professor Sucharita Sen

Sucharita Sen
Sucharita Sen

Sucharita Sen is a Professor in the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University. She was a Nehru-Fulbright Fellow in 2009-10 and was associated with Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA during this period. She was heading the South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Study in Hyderabad between October 2016 to September 2018, a research institution that specializes in water issues. She is an economic geographer and has published in areas of agriculture, natural resources and rural livelihoods in both international and national platforms. Her recent work is on labour, gender, water and societal aspects of climate change, both in the context of peri-urban spaces around large metropolitan cities and rural India. She considers teaching as her passion, and finds a great deal of satisfaction in engaging with students in classrooms. She has till now supervised over 50 M.Phil and PhD students.

At Seeds of Change, Sucharita will be presenting on "Learning from crosscountry differences of female work participation in agriculture in the Eastern Gangetic Plain: The micro and macro connections".

Further reading: