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Craig Meisner
Senior Research Fellow , Research or Research Management
Dhaka, Bangladesh
To be part of an institution and team whose goal is the betterment of rural communities’ livelihoods through inclusive and resilient agriculture, coupled with nutrition and extension and social development, to place poor farmers first in international agricultural research and rural development as the actual people who are often food-insecure in the first place.
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Area of Expertise:
  • Agriculture, Livelihoods, Microfinance, Rural
  • Capacity Building, Training, Advocacy, Political
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Policy, Research, Analysis
Professional Experience:
Research Leadership
I led as Chief of Party a very diverse 8-program, 5.5 million USD 5-year project funded by USAID including:
• Human Resource Development for maize and wheat for NARS, NGO, and private sector scientists
• Whole Family Training for maize promotion
• Chinese Hand Tractor accessories promotion for resource conserving technologies (seeders, zero tills, bed-planters, reapers, threshers)
• Socioeconomic monitoring and evaluation of the programs of CIMMYT Bangladesh
• Introduction of a Bangladesh Country Almanac under 4-NARS partner leadership
• Offering leadership in biotechnology in Bangladesh by the introduction of transgenics (using technologies developed in Cornell University with a virus-resistant papaya)
• Investigation and management of arsenic in the food system through contaminated irrigation water
• Food system approaches to the mitigation of Calcium deficiency-induced rickets in SE Bangladesh
Other Professional Experiences:
I have collaborated with others in the region on:
1. Solarization (using clear plastic, sealed over moist soil for 3 weeks to ‘pasteurize’ the soil using solar radiation) for rice seeding and soil health improvement
2. Screening wheat for wheat sterility
3. Tillage crop establishment in rice wheat system
4. Socioeconomic and policy issues
5. Varietal improvement using Participatory Varietal Selection
6. Participatory research to increase productivity and sustainability of wheat based cropping
7. Screening wheat genotypes for foliar disease resistance under hot and humid conditions

Ph. D. University of Georgia. Dissertation Topic: Water stress effects on peanut root growth and development
Major: Agronomy/Crop Physiology. Degree received: 1990 GPA: 3.91
Masters of Agriculture North Carolina State University Topic: Increasing nitrogen fixation of the peanut
Major: Interdisciplinary degree in pathology, physiology, and crop production. Degree received: 1979 GPA: 3.3
B.S. North Carolina State University
Major: Agronomy emphasizing both tropical and temperate crops. Degree received: 1976 GPA: 3.5 (3.9 in major)
Affiliations and Achievements:
Summary of Scientific/Development Accomplishments
o Received the 2014 International Service Award from the American Society of Agronomy for distinguished work internationally.
o Currently, I am working for the International Food Policy Research Institute as a Senior Research Fellow.
o Had been operating a $10.2 million dollar a year budget and managing 170 staff with WorldFish Bangladesh for applied research in development whereby exhibiting tremendous research and development impacts among the poor
o Work with IWMI on their CRP, Water Land and Ecosystems as the Ganges Basin Research Coordinator
o Facilitated four mega-research projects with ACIAR in Cambodia on rice germplasm (with IRRI), rice establishment (with NSW I&I Australia), on-farm water mgmt. (with CSIRO Australia), and horticultural value chain (with NSW I&I Australia)
o Screened hundreds of new IRRI elite germplasm lines for drought tolerance and submergence tolerance—two constraining factors for non-irrigated wet season rice varieties-- in collaboration with IRRI and the Cambodian Agriculture Research and Development Institute (CARDI). A MAS lab was inaugurated at CARDI last year to do analysis for aroma now that such markers exist making screening for the correct aroma genes possible.
o Developed a focused, three-hour training with one-page, one concept training materials on soil fertility/plant nutrition, herbicide use, and seed storage for model or lead Cambodian rice households. From April-June 2011-12, over 6,000 HH were trained with over 60% of trainees changing their fertilizer use and increasing their rice yields from 15-25%. In addition, model growers influence an average of 10 other neighbors who watch their innovations/changes, resulting in 15,000 grower households impacted by the training.
o Used drama and comedy DVDs produced locally with famous Cambodian actors and actresses to educate over 1 million farmers on the proper use of fertilizer, changing their perception and knowledge of chemical fertilizers to more of “added nutrients”.
o Manage annual Cambodian Agric Research Fund (CARF) for Cambodian researchers. Around 12 projects per year funded for 3 years and began in 2000. Currently it is the CARF-10th round.
o Advised agri-businesses and investment firms to place them in the position of investing in agriculture in Ukraine, Peru, and South Asia.
o Demonstrated that in areas that are unsuited to boro (winter) rice production, wheat and maize production are the most profitable alternative from the farmers’ point of view and frequently represent an efficient use of domestic resources. As supporting Co-Facilitator with the Rice-Wheat Consortium, our team efforts won the 2004 CGIAR King Baudouin Award.
o Researched, developed, and implemented sustainable rice-wheat systems in South Asia though a holistic approach toward improved system varieties, crop diversification, zero or minimum tillage, improved irrigation and fertilizer efficiency with an overall focus on better nutrition for communities.
o Improved wheat and maize crop yields in Bangladesh by implementing research that showed that permanent raised beds produced an 18% higher wheat yield and reduced irrigation water requirement by 32% relative to wheat grown on flat beds. Introduced hybrid maize to local growers increasing yields 400%. Most maize grown in Bangladesh is now hybrid.
o Worked with Cornell University as a full adjunct professor on Ca deficiency induced rickets, soil solarization especially with vegetable and tree nursery growers in Bangladesh
o Developed a “stakeholder partnership” between scientists, NGOs, farmers, and Chinese manufacturers of handheld power-tillers to introduce such equipment to Bangladeshi growers in participatory ways so that all parties learned the benefits and problems of the use of such equipment in the Bangladesh context. After leaving for 7 years, this program expanded greatly.
o Developed conservation agriculture (i.e. minimum

Available for:
  • Job opportunities

    Years of Experience:
    More than 20 years
    Highest Qualification:
    English, Spanish, Bangla
    United States
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