Selected Profile from Directory

Photo of Charity Kawira Mutegi

Charity Kawira Mutegi

East Africa Aflasafe Project Coordinator, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA)


What most impressed the professional colleagues who nominated this role model?

Charity Mutegi is an outstanding female scientist.  Her Ph.D. work on aflatoxin control has proved vital in KALRO (formerly (KARI) and IITA’s efforts to develop feasible control mechanisms for this deadly toxin.  Through her research, she was involved in extending biological control for managing aflatoxin in farmers’ fields, participated in developing capacity for aflatoxin management and raised awareness on aflatoxin issues to thousands of farmers—an impressive feat for which she received 2013 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application.  In addition to her important contribution to improved food safety, she serves as an outstanding role model for young women professionals in agriculture. 

What motivated you to pursue a career in agriculture?

  • I found agriculture very practical. The more I understood its scope, the more interest I developed.
  • I found matters related to my subject area (food safety) very exciting, but also so real and affecting vast unsuspecting populations.

How can agricultural education institutions more effectively prepare African students for successful agribusiness careers? 

  • The private sector must be able to link up and work together with universities to be able to take technological advances and innovations to the level of application.
  • The government needs to increase support to research institutions and universities in order to encourage innovation.
  • Training programs in the universities need to match job market needs.

 Career highlights

  • East Africa Coordinator, Aflasafe Project, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), on secondment from Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO).
  • Senior Research Officer, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) 2001 to date.
  • National Post-Harvest Consultant, Kenya Aflatoxin Intervention Program, 2004-2005.

Educational background

  • Primary school:
    • Moi Nyeri Complex in Nyeri County of Central Province, Kenya.
  • Secondary school:     
    • Bishop Gatimu Ngandu Girls High School, Nyeri County, Central Province, Kenya.
  • University:   
    • Degree in Food Science and Post-Harvest Technology, Jommo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
    • MSc, Food Science and Technology, University of Nairobi (UON).
    • PhD, Food Security, University of KwaZulu Natal.