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With the aim of ensuring smooth implementation of the Initiative, the CARD Secretariat is established and located in the premise of AGRA Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The Secretariat is composed of Director, General and Technical Coordinator, advisers and professional staff as appropriate.  

Management and Operational Guideline of CARD 

Dr. Agnes Kalibata
Director/ President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

Most recently, Dr. Kalihata was Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI). In this role, she was widely considered to be one of the most successful agriculture ministers in sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to that Agnes has held several leadership positions in the MINAGRI, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, and various other agricultural development organizations.  She sits on various boards including the International Fertilizer Development Corporation (IFDC), Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry and the Strategic Advisory Council of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Agnes is an accomplished agricultural scientist and holds a doctorate in entomology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Kalibata has a distinguished track record as an agricultural scientist, policy maker and thought leader.


Mr Takanori Satoyama

Mr Takanori Satoyama

Mr SATOYAMA, a Japanese national, joined AGRA as the Coordinator of the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) Secretariat in October 2012, seconded from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Prior to his assignment in AGRA, he worked in Timor-Leste as a Project Formulation Advisor in JICA Timor-Leste Office since 2010 and also conducted consulting work with some development partners in Timor-Leste for advocacy work on food security and agricultural policies. Mr. SATOYAMA started his career as a development worker in Asian Rural Institute in Japan in 2002. He moved to Malawi and worked for JICA Malawi Office as a Project Formulation Advisor in from 2005 to 2007, formulating and managing agriculture projects for JICA. He joined the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2008 and worked in FAO sub-regional office for Eastern Africa as a policy officer until 2010, and spent his time for policy analysis and advocacy on food security and agricultural development in the Horn of Africa. He holds the Master degree in International Agriculture and Rural Development obtained from Cornell University (USA) in 2005, and the bachelor degree in Law obtained from Sophia University in Tokyo in 1997.


Dr George Bigirwa

Dr George Bigirwa
Associate Program Director, Program for Africa's Seed System, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

Dr Bigirwa, a Ugandan national, holds a PhD in Plant Pathology. He has worked in various disciplines including crop breeding that resulted in the release of six maize and five rice varieties widely grown in Uganda and the neighboring countries of Tanzania, Rwanda, DR Congo and Southern Sudan. Prior to joining AGRA, Dr Bigirwa worked for 22 years with Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO). He served as NARO’s National Coordinator of Maize and Rice Research, a post he held for 8 years. Dr Bigirwa has chaired the Maize and Wheat Network for Eastern and Central Africa (ECAMAW) and the East and Central Africa Rice Research Network (ECARRN), and has been instrumental in linking private seed companies to public research institutions throughout the region – linkages that are critical to expediting smallholder farmer access to new varieties.



Mr. Yuichi KUMAGAI
Technical Coordinator

Mr. Kumagai, a Japanese national, seconded by JICA joins the CARD Secretariat in June 2015. Mr. Kumagai, starting his professional career as a development worker for market gardens in rural Burkina Faso, and his most recent station was the coordinator for a SATREPS project in Burkina Faso. He also spent his career in Haiti for 5 years for Japanese Embassy, International Federation Red Cross (IFRC), and Japanese NGOs. Mr. Kumagai holds Master degree in Water and Environmental Management obtained from Bristol University in 2011, and bachelor of agriculture from Gifu University in 2000.



Ms. Noriko CHEGE
Operation Coordinator

Mrs. Chege, a Japanese national joined AGRA as the Operation Coordinator of the Coalition for African Rice Development (CARD) Secretariat in February 2016. She has had a career in finance starting in the banking industry in 1975. Upon relocating to Kenya in 1986, she joined Nissho Iwai, one of the then Japanese world leading trading companies doubling as secretary and accountant. In 1992, she served as the first Chief Executive Officer of the newly constituted office of the Japanese Society of Kenya where she was charged, among others, coordinating the activities of the society. She worked in the tourism industry as the Operations Manager as well as in charge of administration & finance at Dodo World Safaris between 2001 and 2013, and as Managing Director at Touch Kenya Safaris up to early 2016.