Kenton Dashiell is the Deputy Director General for Partnerships and Capacity Development at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). He was the Soybean Breeder for IITA based in Ibadan, Nigeria from 1983 to 2001. While at IITA he worked with several partners in the national agricultural research systems and other IITA scientists to develop soybean varieties with promiscuous nodulation, high grain and fodder yields, good resistance to pod shattering and several diseases. Some of these varieties were tested and released in several African countries and are now being grown by smallholder farmers. He was the Leader of the Grain Legume Improvement Program at IITA for many years and managed soybean and cowpea projects in several African countries. Before leaving IITA in 2001 he was the Director of the Crop Improvement Division.
Before joining IITA for the second time in 2012 he was the Leader of the N2Africa Project based with CIAT-Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility in Nairobi, Kenya. This project is working with partners in eight African countries to increase the productivity and nitrogen fixation of grain legumes. He was the Location Coordinator and Research Leader for the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory at the USDA-ARS in Brookings, South Dakota, for 6 years and the groundnut breeder at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, for 3 years.
At present his biggest interests include moving technologies that increase crop yields in farmers’ fields and improving the health and nutrition of African families from the labs and research fields to the end users, and building the capacity of the next generation of agricultural scientists, technicians, extension agents, and farmers. He is always looking for new partners for IITA in the areas of agriculture, food, nutrition, and health.