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Project Alba, the social enterprise working to increase the income of smallholder farmers in Cambodia welcomes Kathryn Fiedler to the position of R&D Manager. Kathryn holds a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science from Virginia Tech. She joins Project Alba from the University of Hawaii where she specialised in plant pest research, pathology, food safety and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). Prior to her appointment at the University of Hawaii, she was awarded a research fellowship from the Fulbright Foundation, Washington D.C to research the safety of fruit and vegetables in rural Bangladesh markets.

Kathryn will oversee activity in the Project Alba agricultural R&D department. She will lead a team of seven agronomists in developing new crops and improving techniques used to grow vegetables. The team is vital for the organisation to ensure it is meeting market demand and increasing the productivity of farmers.

On joining the team, Kathryn said:

"I am incredibly excited to join Project Alba at this stage. There is huge opportunity for smallholder farmers in Cambodia if they have access to the best support, advice and techniques. The majority of vegetables sold in Cambodia are imported from neighbouring countries with unreliable quality and sometimes unknown safety. I am passionate about driving forward a change in this area, which is why I joined Project Alba.

“The team already has much success introducing a good portfolio of vegetables to market. I see a lot of potential for better productivity and for a wider range of vegetables as we continue to hone the skills and knowledge of the whole team – from testing field to farmers. This will benefit the farmers by producing higher value crops to increase income as well as benefiting Cambodia consumers who can be assured they are eating safe and healthy vegetables."

Project Alba is one of the only organisations to introduce chemical free and locally grown vegetables to the Cambodian market on a large scale. There is a strong motivation to encourage environmentally conscious practices and sustainability. To date100 farmers are working with the organisation, which will grow to 1,000 in 2018 and up to 10,000 in the next 5 years.

Find out more about Project Alba

Lowery Michelle, 08th August 2017