Skip to Main Menu Skip to Content

← Return to Gallery

Helga Recke

Helga Recke
International Agriculture Day guest speaker on 04/02/2018

Lecture: "Efforts to narrow the gender gap in agriculture: One woman’s journey"

About the speaker

Helga Recke is a Visiting Fellow at Cornell University’s College for Agriculture and Life Sciences, specifically at AWARE (Advancing Women in Agriculture through Research and Education). Helga obtained her master’s degree in horticulture at Hannover University and her PhD in soil science/plant nutrition at Giessen University, both in Germany. With the fertilizer company Kali & Salz AG/BASF she carried out research and developed and refined fertilizer recommendations for farmers, based on specialized soil tests. In 1984 she joined Suedzucker AG, the largest European sugar producer, where she held several positions, finally as a senior advisor to the chief executive on agricultural policy for the GATT negotiations, representing Germany’s interests in a group of policy experts of the European Committee of Sugar Producers in Brussels. Helga moved to Kenya in 1992. For more than 10 years, she coordinated EU-funded research support programs at the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), concentrating on gender-responsive research approaches and income-generating technologies, particularly for rural women. She joined the CGIAR Gender & Diversity Program in 2004, working to secure funding and implement fellowship programs to fast-track the careers of African women agricultural scientists. A co-founder of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), a career development program for top African women scientists, she served most recently as its Science Coordinator and Senior Advisor. Now based in the US, Helga is committed to fostering stronger north-south partnerships and networks for agricultural programs and projects, particularly involving women scientists, and to achieve sustainable impact through gender-responsive approaches.