Manal Mhada is currently a Research Fellow at AgroBiosciences department at the UM6P. She was born in Marrakech in 1988, where she earned her bachelor’s in plant physiology and pathology at Cadi Ayad University. She joined IAV Hassan II for her master’s degree in Agrobiodiversity and Biotechnology Applied to Agriculture, followed by a PhD in Agrobiodiversity in 2016.
Her scientific curriculum is completed with entrepreneurial experience. In 2015, she co-founded a small company, called “Amendy Foods”, that assists farmers in quinoa production, design quinoa-based recipes and deliver to Moroccans products adapted to their cookery habits. This extra curriculum activity allowed her to get in touch with farmers from different categories and helped her understand the drivers for adopting a newly introduced crop. Science and Entrepreneurship both shaped her personality, joining the passionate scientist to the determinant entrepreneur. In 2017 she joined the UM6P as a post-doc researcher, part of the Agrobioscience. She contributed to establishing the quinoa program in different aspects going from Research to Development. She had the opportunity to work in collaboration with MIT on improving the seed microenvironment. Because she believes in the impact of learning by doing, she worked at ESAFE School to establish an initiative called “Learning by farming”, a teaching method that supports students in their learning process using a participative approach based on field experimentation and analysis.
Through all her background, she believes that she can contribute to shaping local agriculture in Africa for the next decade and creating a development model scalable to other countries according to their socio-economic contexts and their genetic resources.