Tropical Agriculture Association (TAA) top honour as ‘Development Agriculturalist’ was awarded to Prof Amir Kassam for championing Conservation Agriculture globally as a means of managing land productively and sustainably, while responding to climate change. Amir is a long-standing member of TAA, member of Executive Committee and a former Chair of the Association (www.taa.org.uk)
TAA 2019 Honours
Professor Amir Kassam OBE, FRSB, CBiol, PhD
The TAA Honours awards for 2019 were announced and presented at the AGM, held at the Farmers’ Club on 12 December 2019. Professor Amir Kassam was a worthy nominee for Development Agriculturalist of the Year. Amir is a long-term member of the TAA, serving as Chair from 2006 to 2008, and he currently leads the Land Husbandry Specialist Group. Following graduation in agro-ecology (BSc and PhD) as a student of Hugh Bunting at the University of Reading, Amir has had a very distinguished career working with United Nations agencies, CGIAR and NGOs. He has published extensively, authoring or co-authoring several books and edited volumes, and many journal papers. In 2005, Amir Kassam was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Honours List for services to tropical agriculture and to rural development. He is currently a Visiting Professor in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development at the University of Reading.
Amir’s current research, education and development work is focussed on globalising and mainstreaming the application of Conservation Agriculture for sustainable agricultural development and land management to address national and global needs and challenges. Amir currently moderates the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) hosted Global Platform for Conservation Agriculture Community of Practice (Global CA-CoP), chairs the International Conservation Agriculture Advisory Panel for Africa, is Vice-Chair of the Conservation Agriculture Association of the United Kingdom, and Honorary Member of the European Conservation Agriculture Federation.
During his career, Amir has worked with several national and international agricultural research and development institutions around the world. He is a former chairman of the Aga Khan Foundation (UK), chairman of FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance Europe Foundation (FOCUS Europe), chairman of the Tropical Agriculture Association (UK), Deputy Director General (Programme) of the West African Rice Development Association (WARDA).
Purposes of the Association
The purposes of the Association are to advance education, research and practice in agriculture and to be an association of practitioners (including research workers, teachers and advisers, development specialists, students and commercial interests or businesses), and of others concerned with the science and practice of agriculture and its impact on sustainable development and the alleviation of poverty. In this respect, the term ‘agriculture’ is deemed to embrace farming (crops and livestock), forestry, agro-forestry, fisheries and wider rural development issues. It includes the disciplines of agriculture, agronomy, biology, soil science, crop protection, agricultural engineering, agricultural economics, rural sociology, geography, environmental science, ecology, animal health and production, fisheries, water resources and related spheres of activity. Emphasis is given to those regions of the earth that have tropical, sub-tropical and winter rainfall climates, particularly to developing countries as defined by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and to emerging economies in other parts of the world. However, the Executive Committee of the Association shall determine at its discretion, the limits of such regions.