Dr. Van Eijk is a senior rural development expert and multi-disciplinary tropical agronomist with extensive field experience in Eastern & Southern Africa. He worked over 20 years in Africa (5 long-term and 25 short-term assignments). His focus is poverty reduction through integrated rural development. He has worked in projects funded by FAO, IFAD, World Bank, UNOPS, AfDB, DGIS, FINNIDA, SIDA, NORAD, various Embassies and NGOs. His fields of expertise are: sustainable rural development, tropical agronomy, farming systems research and development, agricultural extension (Farmer Field Schools), commercialization of smallholder agriculture, value chain development, rural innovation, management and institutional set-up of agricultural research and extension, rural sociology including livelihoods approaches, and farmer cooperatives and organizations. He has field experience in rain-fed, flood-fed and irrigated agriculture with many food- and cash-crops. He is a pragmatic agronomist with insight in the wider context of sustainable rural development. He has demonstrated experience in all phases of project cycle management (PCM) (including identification, appraisal, formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of projects and programs). His multi-disciplinary background allows him to cover crosscutting issues such as gender and environment adequately. Recently he has been advising various agricultural service providers in Kyrgyzstan and completed a TOT training course on the management of agricultural cooperatives.