Head of the Germplasm Health and Virology and Diagnostics, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
Dr. Lava Kumar is the Head of the Germplasm Health and Virology and Diagnostics at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), headquarters in Ibadan, Nigeria.
He has over 25 years of international experience in agricultural and allied fields in South Asia and Africa. As the CGIAR Germplasm Health Component leader, he is focused on ensuring the safe international transfer of germplasm and preventing the transboundary spread of pests and pathogens. His research focuses on strengthening phytosanitary systems with specific emphasis on diagnostics for seed health testing, procedures for rapid propagation of clean seed, seed policies and seed regulations, and mainstreeting informal seed systems.
His team developed several innovative approaches for virus disease diagnosis and control, including ICTs for disease surveillance and seed quality assurance. He initiated the 'GreenPass’ concept for fast-tracking international distribution of clean germplasm for food and agriculture research.