Kudzai Kusena

Kudzai Kusena

PhD Student


Does the practice of saving seed ‘on-farm’ potentially address the challenges of seed security in small-holder farming communities of Zimbabwe, considering the shortfalls of formal seed systems and the threat of climate change?
Supervisors: Assoc Prof Rachel Wynberg and Dr Claid Mujaju

Even though I am a resident of Harare, I hail from Chimanimani District in the eastern highlands of Zimbabwe. My research interests span a wide range of topics including plant species diversity studies, gene banking, seed systems, seed technology, as well as seed and agro-biodiversity policy. I attained a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Sciences, specialising in Biological Diversity Management from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden; and I hold a BSc Agriculture Honours Degree, majoring in Crop Science, from the University of Zimbabwe.

Past research efforts have investigated land use change and its effects on human-wildlife conflicts in the Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia Trans-boundary Natural Resource Management Area, and I have also looked at the effect of seed and pod position on germination of Cleome gynandra, an indigenous vegetable. Previously employed as an agro-biodiversity officer with the Community Technology Development Trust in Harare, I am now the curator of the National Gene Bank of Zimbabwe. As curator, notable accomplishments include geographic mapping of plant genetic resources within the national collection, contributing towards formulation of agro-biodiversity policy of Zimbabwe, and development of the national biodiversity action plan. At present I represent the Africa region on the International Treaty Ad hoc open ended working group to enhance the functioning of the multilateral system on access and benefit sharing of plant genetic resources.

I am a father of three – one boy and two girls, and in my free time I love playing tennis and taking road trips.