One of the 20 winners of the L’Oréal Foundation and UNESCO initiative called “For women in science,” which seeks to promote female researchers all over the world, is Adjata Kamara.
The 25-year-old Ivorian woman was chosen for her work on biopesticides to protect yam crops, a prized root in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Her childhood experience of watching her father’s mango crops destroyed by fungi ignited her passion for research.
Adjata said, “It gives me the opportunity to present my research to other women and to other nations, and it slightly strains me because I tell myself that now, I have to be a role model for young girls in science.
Adjata describes her goal as developing “biopesticides based on plant extracts, fungi, and beneficial bacteria” to treat this anomaly that interferes with the growth of a plant that serves as the foundation for a staple food in many parts of Africa without the use of chemicals.
“I am involved in the creation of biopesticides based on fungi, bacteria, and plant extracts. However, these fungi and bacteria are supposedly advantageous, so I’m looking for ways to manage the fungi that attack yams after harvest “Adjata stated.
Adjata is one of twenty winners of the For Women in Science Young Talent Prize from Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa). Each prize winner will receive between 10,000 and 15,000 euros to help fund their research.
“My father had a mango plantation from a young age. Although we were unaware of it at the time, this plantation was under attack by mushrooms. Additionally, there was a decline in production as the years went by. I was intrigued as to why production was declining and these mangoes were being attacked (by fungi). Since then, I’ve dedicated myself to it and have always had a passion for science “Adjata stated.