Martin Fregene

Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industry, African Development Bank


Dr. Martin Fregene is Director of Agriculture and Agro-Industry at the African Development Bank. He is a plant geneticist with 27 years of experience in crop improvement and agricultural policy.

Dr. Fregene developed the first molecular genetic map of cassava and started the first molecular breeding program of cassava. He began his career at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria, in 1991 and was a recipient of a Rockefeller Foundation post-doctoral fellowship on genetic mapping in 1993 at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia.

In 2008, he joined the BioCassava Plus project at the Danforth Center, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and rose to the position of Project Director. He was Chief Technical Adviser to the Minister of Agriculture in Nigeria 2012 - 2015. He joined the African Development Bank in 2017 as Adviser to the Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Capacity Development, becoming Director in January 2018.

Dr. Fregene received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria; his Ph.D., in plant genetics and breeding, is also from the same University, in collaboration with IITA, the John Innes Center, Norwich UK, and CIAT.

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