About our Event Speakers
We pride ourselves in presenting to you accomplished leaders, authors and advocates with strong track records of achievement and vision in a wide array of backgrounds, professional fields and life experiences. We believe you will benefit from their years of knowledge and experience and also from the latest thinking and innovative processes driving individuals and organizations forward.
Mr. Supramaniam R. Ramasamy

Supramaniam Ramasamy

Supramaniam R Ramasamy commenced his plantation career in 1984 with Highlands and Lowlands Sdn Bhd and subsequently with Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd. in Malaysia. In 1995 he joined Agro Hope Sdn Bhd and subsequently rising to be the Director - Operations of Malaysia and Indonesia. In early 2010 he was requested to Head the Felda Global Plantations. Currently he is serving with Olam International Ltd as the Global Head of Plantations.

Supramaniam R Ramasamy was educated at Agricultural University of Malaysia graduating in B Sc Agricultural Science and Masters in Plantation Management. He went on to do his Management Program at Graduate School of Business at University of Chicago.

He is a member of the Incorporated Society of Planters, Malaysian Soil Science Society and Malaysian Institute of Management.



Mr. Supramaniam R. Ramasamy, Global Head of Plantation
Olam International Ltd
An update on OLAM’s Palm oil & Rubber Plantations Investment in Gabon
Day 1 [Thu 17, October], at 09:30 AM
Mr. Pierre Bois d'Enghien

Pierre Bois Enghien

Pierre Bois d’Enghien has a degree of Agronomical engineer for tropical areas, and a Master’s degree in environmental sciences. More than 25 years of experience in the operational management of agro-industrial plantations (oil palm and rubber) and in the management of the environment. Representative of the Sustainable Development Department of the Socfin Group.



Mr. Pierre Bois d'Enghien, Head of Sustainability / RSPO Lead Auditor
Socfin
Environmental Management System & Sustainability Practices in Socapalm in Cameroon
Day 1 [Thu 17, October], at 11:40 AM
Chairman’s Introduction
Day 2 [Fri 18, October], at 08:00 AM
Mr. Franck Diby

Franck Diby

Franck has been the Executive Secretary of APROSAPCI since 2010 - APROSAPCI is the association of all the producers of palm oil in the Ivory Coast. He has about twenty years iof experience in oil palm having served in various senior management functions. He has solid experience in the design and implementation of projects and in the daily management of activities related to the production of palm oil. Franck graduated with a Masters in Physical Science from the University of Cote D'Ivoire. He also has an Engineering degree in Total Quality Management and also a degree in PMD (Program for Management Development)



Mr. Franck Diby, Executive Secretary
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Outgrower’s / Smallholders Scheme – Learning from Cote D’Ivoire
Day 1 [Thu 17, October], at 11:10 AM
Mr. Ludovic Miaro III

Ludovic Miaro

MIARO III Ludovic with an Engineer degree in Rural Development and Environment has worked over 10 years in the field of environment and social safeguard specifically in central Africa Region.

Before joining WWF in 2012 as the 1st Regional Palm Oil Programme Coordinator for WWF regional office in Central Africa, M. MIARO has worked:

1/ 5 years (2007-2012) with Central Africa State Development Bank (Banque de Developpement des Etats de l’Afrique Centrale) in Brazzaville (Republic of Congo) and he was the 1st environmental engineer in charge of Environment Unit of this regional finacing Institution.

2/ 7 years (2001-2007) in gas/oil field in Chad as Environment and Community relations Supervisor for Exxon Mobil, EnCana and china National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

3/ 3 years (1997-2000) working with Medecins Sans Frontrieres Belgique (humanitarian NGO) as WASH officer (Water Analyze, Sanitary and Health).

 M. Miaro has relevant experience with humanitarian, private sector, regional institution and international NGO over Central Africa and has relevant experience to face challenges related environment/social safeguards and hotspot biodiversity conservation in the Congo Basin.



Mr. Ludovic Miaro III, Regional Palm Oil Programme Coordinator
WWF CARPO (Central Africa Regional Programme Office)
Working with the Industry and RSPO for a Sustainable Palm Oil Industry in Africa
Day 1 [Thu 17, October], at 02:05 PM
Chairman for Second Session
Day 2 [Fri 18, October], at 10:00 AM
Mr. Gert Vandersmissen

Gert Vandermissen

Gert VANDERSMISSEN is an agronomist by training at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, specialized in tropical agriculture and rural engineering and he is currently the Managing Director of SIAT GABON and Group Director of Operations for SIAT SA.

His domain of expertise is in the establishment and management of sustainable oil palm and rubber estates, as well as ranching.

Gert is involved in the process of the Round Table of Sustainable Palm oil since the beginning and was from 2011 – 2013 the vice President of the RSPO representing the planters of the  “Rest of the World” (all oil palm growing countries except Malaysia and Indonesia).



Mr. Gert Vandersmissen, Group Chief Operations Officer
Siat Group
Challenges and Opportunities Developing Oil Palm & Rubber Plantations in Africa – A Major Investor’s Perspective
Day 1 [Thu 17, October], at 10:40 AM
Afternoon Session Chairman
Day 1 [Thu 17, October], at 02:00 PM
Dr. Harrie Hendrickx

Henricus Hendrickx

Dr. Henricus Hendrickx (Dutch, 1956) studied physics and chemistry at the University of Leiden (The Netherlands).  After obtaining a PhD on the subject of Heterogeneous Catalysis, he started his career at the Unilever R&D Laboratory in Netherlands

During the first years he worked on the development of advanced imaging techniques. Then, he switched to the development of food products, especially in the area of oils and fats. After working for four years on professional bakery products in Germany and a brief stay back in Vlaardingen, he moved to Ghana and became the company development manager at Lever Brothers in Tema.

For over 8 years, he was fully dedicated towards supporting teams in Ghana, Tanzania and Nigeria to develop the small scale farming of Allanblackia seeds as a strategy to reduce poverty and enhance the development and biodiversity in rural communities.

From 2012 onwards, Harrie joined the Solidaridad team in West Africa to lead and develop their regional palm oil team. Focus is on sustainable improvement of productivity and profitability of the medium- to small sized farms and mills.



Dr. Harrie Hendrickx, Regional Oil Palm Programme Manager
Solidaridad West Africa
Improving the productivity, profitability and sustainability of small scale oil palm farms
Day 1 [Thu 17, October], at 05:10 PM
Christian Foli

Christian Foli

Christian is a highly experienced agronomist and agribusiness specialist with over 37 years West African experience; He has experience both with smallholder/outgrower schemes and large scale estate management. His areas of expertise include preparation of business plans, training in business plan preparation, organisation of smallholder / outgrower schemes and working with farmer associations. He received his Degree in Crop Science from the University of Ghana . Currently, he is the Program Manager-TAF Smallholder Support Program (TAF is the Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) of the African Agriculture Fund (AAF))

TAF Smallholder Oil Palm Support Program in Sierra Leone is a two year program designed to support 4,000 smallholder farmers to supply Goldtree SL Limited (Goldtree) with fresh fruit bunches for processing into palm oil. Technical assistance and training is being provided over 4000 farmers to improve their yields and  enhance their incomes , access to transport and inputs.



Christian Foli, Managing Director
Center Piece Industries Ltd
Ghana - Significant contribution of the Ghanaian farmer to the oil palm industry
Day 1 [Thu 17, October], at 04:40 PM
Dr . Georges Ngando Ebongue

George Ngando Ebongue

Georges is the Chief of the Centre for oil palm research (CEREPAH) of La Dibamba.

He graduated with a Masters in Biochemistry from the University of Douala, Cameroon and pursued his PHD in Plant Physiology from the University Bordeaux. He was sent to France and Indonesia for training on oil palm fertilisation. He has a broad knowledge on oil palm breeding, agronomy and physiology and won many grants -the latest being the winner of best Cameroonian researcher award together with CEREPAH research team



Dr . Georges Ngando Ebongue, Senior Research Officer
Institute of Agricultural Research & Development (IRAD)
Developments in Management of Fusarium Vascular Wilt of the Oil Palm
Day 2 [Fri 18, October], at 08:40 AM
Dr. Shamie Zingore

Shamie Zingore

Dr Shamie Zingore is the Regional Director for the International Plant Nutrition Institute in sub-Saharan Africa. He received his PhD in Soil Fertility Management and Farming systems Analysis at Wageningen University in 2006.  He is leading research and development programs in more that 10 countries to promote best soil fertility management practices for sustainable crop production intensification. Under Dr Zingore's leadership,IPNI has recently introduced the oil palm best management project in Ghana to help plantations and smallholder producers increase oil palm yields.



Dr. Shamie Zingore, Regional Director
International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI)
Palm Oil potential in West Africa - influence of climate, soil fertility and management practices
Day 2 [Fri 18, October], at 09:10 AM
Mr. Yakende Rodrigue Prosper

Yakende Rodrigue Prosper

Yakende holds a master degree of science in tropical Agronomy from Montpellier(FRANCE)with speciality in innovation in rural environment . He has up to 23 years of experience in the agricultural field .In addition,he received advanced training courses in marketing and project management in France and in Cameroon. Yakende has consulted for World Bank, the European Union, the United Nations in the field of food and agriculture and evaluation of development projects.
He has been the General Manager for CENTRAPALM since 2010



Mr. Yakende Rodrigue Prosper, Director General
Centrapalm
Investing in Oil Palm Plantations Including Policies and Framework for Investors
Day 2 [Fri 18, October], at 10:10 AM
Mr. Bernard Goulou

Bernard Goulou

Bernard is the advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture on the Republic of the Congo responsible for agriculture investments .

From 1997 till now, Bernard has been involved in the preparation on the feasibility study for Agro-industrial projects of Oil Palm for Atama Plantation , Food and Biodiesel project by Eni, Eco-Oil Energy , relauncing of the palm oil projects in Palmeraie



Mr. Bernard Goulou, Attaché of Presidency of Republic of Congo
Ministry of Agriculture & Animal Husbandry
ii) Republic of Congo
Day 2 [Fri 18, October], at 10:10 AM
Dr . Patrick Wetala

Patrick Wetala

Employment record for Patrick Wetala (Bsc Agric, Msc Agric, Ph D)

I am a Ph D Graduate of the University of Reading, 1997, United Kingdom. I am a Principal Research Officer (Agronomist) at The National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI) and Head of Oil palm Research Project supported by theVegetable Oil Development Project Phase 2. My professional carrier as a researcher spans a period of 40 years moving from weed research of annual crops to the agronomy of oil palm, coffee, tea, and cocoa in the last 20 years. The research in oil palm in the last 10 years been closely associated with the establishment of commercial oil palm plantations in Uganda



Dr . Patrick Wetala, Head of Research, Vegetable Oil Palm Development
Vegetable Oil Development Project Phase Two
iii) Uganda
Day 2 [Fri 18, October], at 10:10 AM
Dr. Christy O. Okwuagwu

Christy Okwuagwu

Dr Christy obtained her Ph. D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA in 1981. She is the research director for NIFOR and also the breeder for NIFOR's Oil Palm Main Breeding Programme.

She is highly actively and is one of the founding members in the International Society for Oil Palm Breeder (ISOPB) set up in 1984 in Rome. For this she served as African Regional Coordinator, ISOPB from1984 - 1996.

Today she coordinates NIFOR's commercial tenera hybrid seed production



Dr. Christy O. Okwuagwu, Director of Research
Nigerian Institute For Oil Palm Research (NIFOR)
Developments in High Quality Palm Oil Planting Material – Reviewing NIFOR's role
Day 1 [Thu 17, October], at 04:10 PM
Mr. John Clendon

John Clendon

John Clendon is the Managing Director of Univanich Palm Oil PCL, which is Thailand’s largest palm oil producer and the winner of many awards as Thailand’s best performing company in the Agriculture Sector.

The Univanich’s Oil Palm Research Centre in southern Thailand is recognized internationally for its pioneering work in oil palm agronomy and in oil palm breeding.  Hybrid oil palm seeds from the Univanich breeding program are now exported to growers in more than fifteen countries around the world.

John Clendon is a graduate in Agricultural Management from Lincoln University in New Zealand.  For the past 37 years he has worked in Asia’s plantation industry, first as a manager in Unilever’s Plantations and Plant Science Group, then for the past 18 years as Managing Director of Univanich Palm Oil in Thailand.



Mr. John Clendon, Managing Director
Univanich Palm Oil PCL
Importance of Sustainable Palm Oil - Economic, environmental & social achievements in Thailand's oil palm industry.
Day 1 [Thu 17, October], at 03:00 PM
Mr. Michael Ray Duncan

Michael Duncan

Mike Duncan has been with Caterpillar for 25 years and is the Industry Manager responsible for sales and marketing of Caterpillar products into the Forest Industry.
He manages a global team focused on providing customer solutions to improve methods and lower costs for companies involved in Road building, Harvesting, Log Handling/Millyards and plantation development. During his career he has held staff and management positions in engineering, marketing, quality control and sales and has done extensive work in Malaysia, Indonesia, Brasil, Russia, Chile and North America.
Mike has a B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural Engineering from Purdue University and is based in LaGrange, Georgia, USA at the world headquarters for Caterpillar Forest Products.



Mr. Michael Ray Duncan, Global Industry Manager
Caterpillar Inc
A new approach to plantation establishment to lower costs and improve productivity
Day 1 [Thu 17, October], at 12:10 PM