Practice Manager, East Asia and Pacific region, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
Ms. Dina Umali-Deininger is the Agriculture and Food Practice Manager for the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank. She manages analytical and advisory services and a lending portfolio totaling $3.5 billion, which focuses on promoting climate-smart and nutrition-sensitive agriculture, linking smallholder farmers to markets, agriculture value chain development, and enhancing rural livelihoods and jobs. She formerly served as the Agriculture Practice Manager in Central and Eastern Africa and as the Water Practice Manager in Europe and Central Asia. She also served as Country Sector Coordinator and Lead Agriculture Economist in the World Bank New Delhi office overseeing the World Bank's agriculture and rural development program in India. Prior to joining the World Bank, she held a teaching position at the University of the Philippines and was a Research Associate at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. She has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Applied Economics from Stanford University and a B.A. in Agribusiness Management from the University of the Philippines.
Senior Agriculture Economist, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, East Asia and Pacific Region, The World Bank
Sitaramachandra Machiraju is a Senior Agribusiness Specialist in the Agriculture and Food Global Practice, in the East Asia and Pacific Region of the World Bank. Mr. Machiraju has been leading projects and analytical work focusing on sustainable and modern food systems, climate-smart agriculture, digital agriculture, food safety, green investment funds, and private capital mobilization in China and Mongolia. He is also leading the regional analytical program on One Health. He worked across lending operations on agriculture and rural livelihoods projects in Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. He started his career as a Young Professional with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in India, gaining experience in agriculture finance, institutional development of cooperative and rural banks, and financial sector supervision. He played a key role in laying the foundations for successful microfinance in India, serving as the Program Director for the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP), one of the largest microfinance programs in the world.
Team Leader, Henan Green Agriculture Fund Project - China and Deputy General Manager, Henan Agriculture Development Finance and Investment Co. Ltd. (HADFIC)
Jiwei Jiang, Team Leader of the Henan Green Agriculture Fund Project is also the Deputy General Manager of Henan Agriculture Development Fund Investment Co., Ltd. and Henan Grand Capital Investment Co. Ltd. He made significant contributions to the Henan Provincial Government Fund Reform and Policy Framework Development during the last 6 years. He drafted nearly 30 key provincial fund investment policies documents. He has also successfully established over more than 20 provincial government investment funds of nearly 90 billion RMB, including the Modern Agriculture Fund, Industrial Fund, Poverty Reduction Fund, and Sci-Tech Innovation Fund.
President and Dean of Research, Boyide (Beijing) Biotechnology Co., Ltd.
Dr. Liu Shijie is the President and Dean of Research at Boyide Biotechnology and the Deputy Director of the National Engineering Research center for Biofeed Development. He is also the Deputy Secretary-General of the Professional Committee at the National Association of Feed Economy, Forestry, Animal Husbandry, and Fishery Economics, the Secretary-General of the China Biofeed Industry Innovation Strategic Alliance, and the Founder and Vice President of the Feed Doctor Union (FDU). Dr. Liu specializes in animal nutrition and feed science and agricultural economic management. He has been awarded the "Top Ten Young Entrepreneurs in China's Animal Husbandry and Feed Industry in 2018.” He has participated in a number of national, provincial, and ministerial projects, published over 20 academic papers, participated in the compilation of more than 6 books, applied for and authorized more than 20 patents as the main participant, and participated in the formulation of the first group standard in the field of biological feed— "Classification of Biological Feed Products."
Chief Expert and Senior Researcher, Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Dr. Zhang Weijian is the chief expert on the crop farming and ecological innovation team and is a senior researcher at the Institute of Crops Science in the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. In addition, he is also a member of the Conservation Tillage Expert Committee hosted by the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs, the Agricultural Cultural Heritage Expert Committee, and the Disciplinary Evaluation Group (Crop Science Group) of the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council. He is also the chief expert of the “13th Five-Year” national key research and development project, is the deputy director of the Chinese Society of Farming Systems, is the secretary-general of the China Three-dimensional Agriculture Branch and the Chinese Agricultural Ecology Expert Committee, and is the deputy editor of the Crop Journal. He has presided over 20 national projects and has published more than 100 papers in leading domestic and foreign journals such as Nature, Science Advance, and Global Change Biology.
Chief Technology Officer, Chengdu Baolebao Technology Co., Ltd.
Dr. Liu Ji is a senior engineer at the Chengdu Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences and is the Chief Technology Officer of Chengdu Baolebao Technology. His research expertise is on the application effects and application methods of pathogenic microorganisms and natural inhibitors on the life cycle of fruits and vegetables. He has successively published and co-published more than 40 research papers in domestic and foreign academic journals, including 10 in SCI, 5 in EI and ISTP, more than 20 core journals of Peking University, and has obtained 8 invention and utility model patents.
Lead Agriculture Economist, Agriculture, and Food Global Practice, Africa Region, The World Bank
Dr. Paavo Eliste is the Lead Agricultural Economist in Agriculture and Food Global Practice, Africa Region of the World Bank, based in Washington, DC where he heads the Africa Sustainable Development Policy Unit. Prior to his present assignment, he was the Coordinator of the Agriculture and Rural Development programs in China and Mongolia, based in Beijing, China. From 2009 to 2014 Paavo was Senior Economist and Sector Coordinator for agriculture and rural sectors in South East Asia, and from 2004 to 2009 he was Senior Economist in the Sustainable Development Department in the Africa Region. Paavo has accumulated nearly 25 years of international development experience, working in 3 regions. He holds a Ph.D. in natural resources economics and an M.S. degree in agricultural economics from West Virginia University in the US.
Senior Expert, Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation, Global Practice, The World Bank
Juan Buchenau is a Senior Financial Sector Expert specialized in agricultural finance and cooperative financial institutions. Until January 2021, he was the core member of the global agricultural finance team at the World Bank (WB) and the leader of WB’s Community of Practice on Cooperative Financial Institutions, working on policy diagnostics and reform. He was formerly in charge of several programs in support of the financial sector authorities to improve access to finance in Latin America and the Caribbean. Before joining WB he was until 2006, the Executive Vice President of an American microfinance institution serving immigrants and their families. Prior to that, he managed for several years a program to support a multi-purpose small farmers’ cooperative in Mexico before becoming the lead advisor of the German consulting firm IPC/Procredit, helping commercially oriented microfinance banks in Latin America, Africa, and Eastern Europe to expand their services for small farmers and MSMEs. Mr. Buchenau has an MSc from the University of Hohenheim (Germany).
Irina I. Klytchnikova
Lead Agriculture Economist, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, Europe and Central Asia Region, The World Bank
Irina Klytchnikova is the Lead Agricultural Economist in Agriculture and Food Global Practice, Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank. Irina joined the Bank in 1999 and has held various positions in different sustainable development sectors in the ECA region. As a Young Professional, she worked with the LAC Water and Environment Sector Unit and the Development Economics Research Department on climate change, food security, and on the 2008 Agriculture World Development Report. In LAC, Irina led a series of programs to promote green growth and sustainable development in Colombia, Bolivia, Argentina, and Nicaragua. Within the AGF GP, she has worked as Senior Economist in the front office on corporate and strategy issues, and most recently, in the SSA region and MNA where she was the TTL for an innovative Regional IDA project to accelerate the impacts of CGIAR climate research in Sub-Saharan Africa. She also led agriculture policy dialogue in the Maghreb and coordinated the preparation of the MNA High-Level ministerial dialogue on Food Security and Climate Resilience as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response. Irina holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland and a MA in International Relations and International Economics from Johns Hopkins University.
Global Lead, Data-driven Digital Agriculture, Agriculture, and Food Global Practice, The World Bank
Dr. Parmesh Shah is the Global Lead, Data-Driven Digital Agriculture at the World Bank. He provides leadership to Bank’s work in these areas and supports the development of global knowledge and learning in these areas to offer solutions to clients and other development partners. His current areas of interest are making markets and public services work for the poor, social entrepreneurship, digital and data-based innovations in agriculture and rural development, climate-smart agriculture, Agriculture and technology-enabled start-ups, venture and patient capital for innovation, promotion of on-farm, off-farm, and digital jobs and public-private and people partnerships for rural poverty reduction. He is currently involved in developing a global program on scaling up data-driven digital agriculture involving data platforms and establishing ecosystems for innovation, entrepreneurship, and incubation. He holds a D Phil in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and a B Tech degree in Agricultural Engineering from Pantnagar in India.
Dr. Jun Zhang
Associate Professor, Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China
Dr. Jun Zhang is an agronomist, a member of the Key Laboratory of Crop Physiology and Ecology in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Areas. He works in the farming system and agroecology innovation team at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. His current research examines how agronomic practices mitigate greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining a high yield, how agricultural managements enhance the capacity of crop adaptation to climate change, and how climate change such as extreme temperature affects crop yields and grain quality. In recent years, he has published more than 30 research articles.