Agricultural & Nutritional Sciences
Prof. Mary Abukutsa-Onyango is a humanitarian and distinguished agricultural Scientist from Kenya who specializes in Olericulture, Agronomy and Horticultural Plant Physiology and Nutrition. Abukutsa-Onyango is a Professor of Horticulture in the Department of Horticulture and Food Security at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) in Kenya. She previously served as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research, Production and Extension) at the same University. Prof. Abukutsa has conducted pioneering research on African Indigenous Vegetables. She has studied how African indigenous vegetables can be used to combat malnutrition in Africa while maintaining a secure form of revenue even during more challenging weather and climate. Her work has had a tremendous impact on the production and utilization of indigenous vegetables in Africa and led to her receipt of numerous, well-deserved scientific awards and accolades including CTA, IMPRESSA, Presidential and African Union Scientific awards and Edinburgh medal. Her work has inspired students, young researchers and influenced governments to consider the importance of Indigenous Vegetables for Nutrition, Health, and Wealth. Her passion, coupled with her careful scientific multi-disciplinary research have repositioned indigenous vegetables from being considered as poor man’s crops to internationally recognised as nutrient dense, super vegetables.
Prof. Abukutsa-Onyango holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, a Master of Science in Agronomy from the University of Nairobi, and PhD in Horticultural crop physiology and Nutrition from University of London, United Kingdom. In an effort to unravel the potential hidden in indigenous vegetables, Prof. Abukutsa has successfully implemented 15 multi-disciplinary research projects funded by national and international funding agencies in indigenous vegetables and related neglected and under-utilized crops and released nine (9) varieties of nutrient dense African indigenous vegetables through Kenya, Plant Health Inspectorate Services (KEPHIS) in 2016. Her research has shown that African indigenous vegetables have a role in combating malnutrition, poverty, and effects of climate change. She is an active member of Kenya National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the African academy of sciences (AAS) and served as a member of 2020-2023 AAS Governing Council. She has supervised over 80 undergraduate and postgraduate projects and is widely published. She has excellent experience in Governance, Leadership and Mentoring.