Areas of expertise
- Food Quality
- Food Safety
BackgroundElias holds a Masters of Science in Crop Protection from Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique) and a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Makerere University (Uganda). He has worked worked in agricultural sector since 2014. His first job was in 2014, while working as a regional monitoring officer for the USAID agriculture and nutrition project. In 2015,Elias realized need for skills in his profession and joined MSc in Crop Protection, specializing in pathology. While in Mozambique, Elias learnt Portuguese and interacted with several researchers including breeders and pathologist. Because of this, Elias was selected as a research fellow to conduct training on molecular analysis at IITA in Kenya. This was under supervision of Dr. Morag Ferguson. Elias excelled and was able to publish his findings in journal of plant genetic resources.
- In 2016, he came back from Mozambique and joined Bioversity International-Uganda as a research consultant on pests and diseases of banana. While there, Elias designed several experiments, supported project progress and published a scientific report for an international conference. In 2017, the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industries and Fisheries of Uganda offered him the role of Agricultural Inspector. His main goal was to work with other researchers and officers in improving food safety for agricultural exports in Uganda. In 2017, he joined Mbarara University of Science and Technology as an assistant lecturer up-to date.
- While in Mozambique, in 2015-2016, he was part of the breeding cassava for better yields project. Elias exercised his expertise in contributing towards results for this project by publishing two articles at MSc level which has been used as a strong benchmark in cassava breeding program. He looked at SNP diversity in relation to cassava brown streak disease, we identified potential resistant lines using SNP markers. Currently these lines are being tested for field resistance conformity.
- At Bioversity, he was exposed to the biotechnology project which aimed at using novel biotechnology approaches in improving banana for resistance against common pests and diseases notably Fusarium wilt. Together with colleagues, they managed to host an international conference on banana wilts. My output was an authored conference proceeding report, which is being cited up to date. At Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Elias have managed to write and with two grants while as a Co-PI.
Currently, Elias is pursuing a PhD in Agri-food and environment. His focus is determining the levels of mycotoxins contaminations along the cassava value chain, and possible mitigation strategies. Unlike other studies, for the first time, Elias' work looks at entire value chain. It is envisaged that, his work will explicitly show what needs to be done at each value chain of cassava to reduce mycotoxins. His work will be achieved with mixed methodologies including laboratory sessions, socioeconomic aspect and modelling.
Elias' interest lies in mycology. He states that 'The credibility of Ugandan food stuffs for food safety on market has often been questioned both on regional and international level, mycotoxins greatly contribute to this. My interest is to find out which species of mycotoxin are affecting the cassava and products, to what level and what can be done to reduce the contaminations'.
He is also interested in developing farmer-based approaches of reducing mycotoxins along the value in already contaminated products. He seeks to use products in farming communities and experiment their potential in reducing mycotoxins.
Also, modelling for climatic patterns and pre-and post harvest activities for potential low and high risk areas of mycotoxin contamination.
- Farming community in Eastern and Northern Uganda
Articles In Journals
- Tinzaara W, Mutambuka M, Oyesigye E, Blomme G, Dita M, Gold CS, Rouard M & Karamura E (2021) Banana wilt diseases: current status and future research strategies for their management, International Journal of Pest Management, Available online 21 October 2021.
- Oyesigye E, Zacarias A, Mondjana A, Magaia H & Ferguson M (2018) Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) diversity of cassava genotypes in relation to cassava brown streak disease in Mozambique, Plant Genetic Resources, 16 (6) 533-543.