Arrell Scholar, Plant Agriculture
Roshan Pudasaini is studying in the department of Plant Agriculture as a PhD student with Prof. Manish Raizada. Roshan earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Agricultural Science from Thribhuvan University in his home country of Nepal, where he specialized in soil science. His PhD research investigates complex crop rotation to help farmers increase crop yield and increase sustainability.
Minor cereal plants, grains similar to barley, are nutritious yet underutilized among small-holder farmers globally despite the fact that growing them has many economic and environmental benefits. With a specific focus on the White fonio cereal crop, Roshan’s Ph.D. research with Arrell Food Institute aims to understand the biological mechanisms behind this crop’s climate resiliency and how these traits can be leveraged to integrate them into Asian, African and North American cropping systems. Roshan hopes his research will inform plant breeding and crop-rotation projects.Back to Our Experts
“It is important to explore and understand the underlying mechanisms of how the selected genotypes of plants, like the Fonio, manage to tolerate drought. We can then use this knowledge in developing high yielding drought tolerant fonio varieties and facilitate wider adoption of it to enable more farmers to reap its economic and environmental benefits”
Research Interests and Future Goals
His family’s experience facing the difficulties in subsistence agriculture in Nepal pushed him to pursue projects that promote agro-biodiversity and strengthen the resiliency of rural farmers.
Roshan has completed a breadth of research throughout his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture, as well as during his time at the Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development, a leading research organization in Nepal. His previous research spans investigating the effect of conservation tillage and manure in maize crops in his home country of Nepal to testing and scaling climate-smart agriculture tools to strengthen the resiliency of rural farmers. He aims to leverage this research to contribute to sustainable development goals one and two .
Why become an Arrell Scholar?
Roshan chose to become an Arrell scholar as the research led by the Department of Plant Agriculture aligned with his background and had a focus on global implications. Additionally, Arrell Food Institute provides scholars with many opportunities to engage with agricultural policymakers, industry professionals and researchers, which is aligned with Roshan’s goal of working on global development projects. Most recently, Roshan worked with the Chatham House, an international affairs think tank, to publish a report on biodiversity loss.