Datura Plant

CCRP/McKnight Next Generation Profile: Filemon Elisante

Published on:

October 14, 2020

Community of Practice:

East & Southern Africa, Farmer research network (FRN)

Areas of study: Pollination ecology. Although I have good background on wildlife and forest ecology, I was interested to work on Pollination ecology since this area is understudied in tropical Africa and particularly in East African agri-ecosystems. Since pollinators play major role in crop production, therefore, understanding agro-ecological practices that allow on-farm conservation is essential for maintaining their population in agri-ecosystems for improved sustainable food production.

What CCRP projects were/are you involved in, and how did you contribute?

I was involved in McKnight Foundation project and my contribution can be rated based on two categories: Local and Scientific contribution. I was able to train more than 300 smallholder farmers along the slope of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania particularly on agro-ecological practices that protect and support agro-biodiversity including pollinators and plants. In a scientific community, I was able to publish three (3) papers in peer-reviewed journals of which I believe they have helped to disseminate essential information regarding community knowledge on pollinators and their role in increasing crop yield in Eastern Africa farming systems.

How has CCRP/McKnight impacted your education/career, and how has that support affected you personally, as a leader?

McKnight Foundation has supported me by paying my education expenses which enabled me to complete my PhD studies in time. This has affected my personal life in a very positive way because very soon I will be promoted to Lecturer position which will give me an opportunity to grow academically and as a research leader. The project has strengthened my capacity to conduct quality researches, lecturing and supervising both undergraduate and masters students’ research projects.

What are your next steps (future plans)?

Since I am working as an assistant lecturer (soon to be promoted to Lecturer position) at The University of Dodoma, Tanzania, my plan is to continue carrying out studies related to pollination ecology and particularly in semi-arid agri-ecosystems. Moreover, I will seek for more collaborations with regional and international organizations/institutions for further research activities focusing on sustainable food production while protecting beneficial insects and the environment in general.