Prof Funso Raphael Kutu
Prof. Funso Raphael Kutu is a trained agronomy-soil scientist with extensive research and teaching expertise. He currently serves as Head of School at the School of Agricultural Sciences. He earned a BSc. Honours in Agriculture, MSc in Agronomy (Soil Science) and a PhD from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. Prof. Kutu began his academic career as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Ibadan. He later joined Ahmadu Bello University's Division of Agricultural Colleges in Zaria, Nigeria, as a Lecturer II and was promoted to Lecturer I after three years. He also served as Head of the Agricultural Technology Programme and Coordinator of the 'Students' Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES)' program in the same university. He worked in various institutions in South Africa before joining the University of Mpumalanga in 2018. These include the University of Fort Hare as a postdoctoral researcher, Agricultural Research Council - Grain Crops Institute (ARC-GCI), Potchefstroom as a Senior Researcher, Soil Scientist-Plant Nutrition; University of Limpopo as a Senior Lecturer in Soil Science and Associate Professor (Soil Science) in 2012. He worked briefly as a Team Manager in the Soil Health and Remediation programme at the Agricultural Research Council, Institute for Soil, Climate and Water (ARC-ISCW), Pretoria before joining the North-West University (NWU), Mafikeng Campus in August 2014 as a Professor of Agronomy. He was the team leader for the Plant Production research sub-group in the Food Security and Safety Niche Area, and Programme Leader for the Crop Science Programme in the School of Agricultural Sciences.
The theme for his research is “Improving sustainability and agro-ecosystem resilience through innovative soil fertility and nutrients management practices, and improved soil health for food and nutrition security”. His research works encompass Soil fertility evaluation and management, improved agronomic practices, cropping systems, nutrient dynamics in soil-plant systems, soil-crop-microbes interaction, microbial inoculants, compost science and utilization for soil health and crop yield improvement, and Green Chemistry. He served as Associate Editor in Agronomy Journal (USA) and currently serves as Chairperson of the Mpumalanga Agricultural Research Committee (MARC) on behalf of the Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environmental Affairs (DARDLEA). He is a member of the Water Research Commission (WRC) project reference group. He equally serves as external examiner to many universities as well as assessor for promotion to professorship and associate professorship (readership) in several universities. He has published widely in accredited journals mostly internationally, and graduated Master and Doctoral students. He is a registered member of several professional bodies including the South African Council of Natural Scientific Profession (SACNASP), the Soil Science Society of South Africa, the Soil Science Society of Nigeria, the Soil Science Society of America and the Agronomy Society of America. He is a C2 rated scientist by the National Research Foundation of South Africa.