Julian Smith, Lead for International Development, The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA). Julian Smith has 20 years of experience in agriculture, both the UK and developing countries, and in forging partnerships in crop health between north and south institutions. Trained as a plant bacteriologist and molecular biologist, he has worked with crops as varied as potato to banana to coconut to cassava, and in countries of East Africa, South America and Asia. A particular interest has been in promoting investment in mitigating threats of crop pest and disease epidemics and early outbreak response capabilities with developing countries that build towards a one-world outcome for food security.
At the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) I have primary responsibility for development and oversight of Fera’s activity in developing countries, most notably in Africa and in areas of plant health. Fera, as the main evidence provider to the UK government on agriculture, retains one of the largest critical mass of agricultural expertise in the UK focusing on sustainable crop production and land use. My role in partnering Fera with commercial, overseas governmental bodies and other institutions (notably the International Agricultural Research Centres) is based on identifying those elements of Fera research, services and know-how that may be valued by the partner and are otherwise not available. Fera strongly believes in the principle of subsidiarity in providing ‘head space’ for the true local capacity to grow into.
I studied at Aberystwyth University in the UK, completing a BSc and Ph.D. in Agricultural Botany and rhizobial inoculants, respectively. I joined CAB International in 1992, where I headed areas of molecular biology and biotechnology (genetically modified organisms). In 2005, I moved to the Central Science Laboratory at York, which later transferred to Fera.
Email: [email protected]