Professor Amir Kassam is the Moderator of the Global Platform for No-Till Conservation Agriculture Community of Practice (CA-CoP) hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. He is Visiting Professor in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, UK. He is the Chairman of the International Conservation Agriculture Advisory Panel for Africa (ICAAP-Africa) of the African Conservation Tillage (ACT) Network, and the Vice-Chairman of the Conservation Agriculture Association for the United Kingdom (CA-UK). Amir was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Honours List in 2005 for services to tropical agriculture and to rural development.
Born in Zanzibar, Amir has a BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Science and a PhD in Agricultural Ecology from the University of Reading (UK), and an MS in Irrigation Science from the University of California, Davis. Amir’s professional work is focused on globalizing the transformation of the conventional degrading ‘Green Revolution’ agriculture to sustainable agriculture based on the adoption of No-Till Conservation Agriculture.
During his career, Amir has worked with a number of national and international agricultural development, educational and research institutions around the world, including several CGIAR centers, UN agencies and NGOs. His former positions include: Deputy Director General of WARDA (the Africa Rice Centre); Interim Executive Secretary of the CGIAR Science Council; Chairman of the Aga Khan Foundation (UK); Chairman of the Focus Humanitarian Assistance Europe Foundation; and the Chairman of Tropical Agriculture Association, UK. He has published widely on the productivity, economic, environmental and societal benefits of Conservation Agriculture, which now covers over 180 million hectares of global cropland.
Amir became a vegetarian seven years ago and a vegan three years ago because of ethical and environmental reasons, as well as to enjoy better health, lifestyle and quality of life.