Photo: my host family in Province Orientale, Northern DRC

My adoptive family in Northern DRC during a training

When I went to Province Orientale in Northern DRC, near the Sudanese border, I stayed in a very remote village that took about 12 hours to get to on a small motorbike. I was a bit apprehensive because I was not sure what I was going to find there once we arrived. My hut was clean and well looked after, and one of the families in the village looked after me. They gave me food and washed my clothes. There were adorable and I hope this picture does them justice. I think about them every now and again, and hope they are doing well. Hopefully I will see them soon! That area of DRC has a lot of problems with Cassava Mosaic virus and Banana bacterial wilt. however they have an amazing quantity of food due to the tropical conditions in the region. It rains 10 months of the year and avocado the size of watermelons grow everywhere, they feed peanuts (usually a cash crop) to the pigs and the chickens are very tasty (which I find unusual in East Africa)


Photo: A South Sudanese woman in a market in Northern DR Congo

South Sudanese woman in Northern Congo market

This woman, whose name I unfortunately cannot remember, lived in what is now South Sudan and left during the recent troubles in Juba. She crossed into DRC and now lives in Aru, near the Ugandan border. She is growing cassava and banana to sell at the moment and is an expert seamstress. She owns her own sowing machine and gets good income from it. She was very happy to talk to me about the problems in the area. The North East Congo-Uganda-South Sudan region used to be a lawless area where many bad things happened. It is however easier now, and she is looking forward to returning to her native Juba soon. For her and her family, I really hope this happens! good luck!

Post: My talk on Afghanistan

Hi all,

If you have 20 minutes, you can view my talk on how to build a successful partnership model in Afghanistan.

Since 2011, I have been working with various partners, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, and the Aga Khan Foundation. We work in various provinces and the nature of the country’s social problems makes it hard to build a sustainable enterprise.

Nevertheless, we are well on the way, with 10 clinics being developed and running regularly in 2 provinces! We have plans for more this year, which means a greater number of farmers will have access to crop pest and disease information! Plantwise is in full swing!

The talks gives you a bit of background on Afghanistan, finding the right partners, training the staff, running clinics, and supporting the trained plant doctors with tools! As a bonus, you also get to see how cringe worthy I appear whilst talking to a (worldwide) audience!

This is the link to my video. Hope you like it! The password for watching the video is CABIJULIEN if watching directly from the vimeo website

If you are interested in learning more about CABI and Plantwise, have a look at the website:

Post: My new article in “World Agriculture” journal

My article, recently published on “World Agriculture” discusses how agrochemical dealers, the equivalent to pharmacists in the agricultural world, cope with the necessity to run a profitable business in Uganda, whilst being able to give farmers safe efficient and practical advice.

Don’t worry, the link is just a summary. Whoever wants a full copy, let me know.


Photo: a kid playing in a mechanical playground

IN DRC, I regularly visit a factory where they process various agricultural products, such as cacao, vanilla pods and papaya oil. This kid, the son of one of the managers, was playing in the mechanics workshops, with some random motorbike parts. He just looked so happy! I am happy by how this picture came out.

In North Kivu, in Democratic Republic of Congo, I regularly visit a factory where they process various agricultural products, such as cacao, vanilla pods and papaya oil. Mathias, the son of one of the managers, was playing in the mechanics workshop, with some random motorbike parts. He just looked so happy! The picture came out better than expect. I printed it out for the family, and now sits in their living room. Hopefully I will see them again soon!

Photo: Kabul and its many wonders

In Kabul, the fruit market is usually teeming in the morning. There is hardly any place to move. However, as the afternoon wears on, the place relaxes and you can actually start talking to locals. I was taking pictures of fruit diseases (yes that’s how cool I am) and a couple of local kids came up to me and started posing. I was playing around a bit, but then they wanted to see the pictures I had taken. They were not satisfied with them, so they made me concentrate! It took at least ten minutes to set this one up properly. The result is great though… Just looking at the eyes shows me a different world…