I come from a long line of farmers. My ancestors were commercial farmers and I remember as a kid being told of their stories by my grandmother and later by my father. So I guess it is safe to say that agriculture is in my blood.
Though I wasn’t raised on a farm, I spent a great deal of my formative years tilling the ground in my father’s backyard garden. That’s when my passion for agriculture started. This passion was what led me into studying agriculture in the University for my First Degree and later Sustainable Agriculture for my Second degree
As a Master’s degree holder in Natural Resources – Sustainable Agriculture from the prestigious Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich and with a working career that spans across Private, National, Non-Governmental and International Organisations, my outlook has evolved from the backyard garden into studying the interaction with the natural world, especially ground water levels, climate change, etc as it affects sustainable food production and poverty.
I started my working career as a Research Assistant at the Nigerian National Programme for Agriculture and Food Security, Abuja. Within this role, I was closely engaged in various types of agricultural research work with several international donor partners such as Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC), Islamic Bank, South-South Cooperation (Chinese Government) in fields ranging from Soil Management Systems to designing and implementing Agro-Processing factories.
After this, I worked with the Centre for Environment, Renewable Natural Resources Management, Research and Development (CENRAD), Nigeria where I participated in several agricultural and agroforestry projects and was responsible for training and developing sustainable community-based agricultural practices.
During my time at CENRAD, I proceeded to United Kingdom, where I studied for my Master’s Degree. While studying, I picked up an appointment with the Business School of the University of Greenwich. Currently, with the support of AfricaLead, I am a Young Professional Associate at the Centre Ouest et Centre Africain pour la Recherche et le Développement Agricole/West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), one of the four sub-regional organizations (SRO) that constitute the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).
Here, I have been working in many capacities which includes planning and coordinating of climate smart agricultural research across West and Central Africa and institutionalizing Innovation Platforms (IPs) for agricultural research under several donors such as USAID, DFAT, MTDF etc. As a volunteer (National Director of Research) at a Non-Governmental Organisation in Nigeria called Youths in Sustainable Agriculture (YISA), I led a team to develop and deliver training modules to youths in sustainable practices of agriculture.
I am a member of several professional bodies such as Tropical Agriculture Association, and British Society of Soil Science, Junior Chamber International, Nigeria (JCI), The Scouts Association of Nigeria, Oyo State Scout Council, Soil Science Society of Nigeria.
My interest and passion lies within youth development, sustainable food production, reduction of food insecurity and poverty in Africa. My main goals include improving farmers’ livelihood in the sub-Saharan Africa as well as proffering suitable agricultural policy solutions to governments in ensuring sustainable agricultural production intensification and agricultural development.
Paul Laniran is one of the 10 young champions who will work on the “ Measuring success ” Landscape challenge with Youth program’s partner: UNEP-DHI.
Learn more about the Global Landscapes Forum’s Youth program, meet our 50 youth champions and discover the 5 Landscapes challenges they will take up, in December, in Paris.