Photo of Ulemu Mercy Tembo

Ulemu Mercy Tembo

Assistant Director, Crop Development, Ministry of Agriculture


Home Institution

Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Mzuzu University, Department of Crop Development, Assistant Director-Field Crops


Ulemu has a PhD in Plant Breeding and Biotechnology from Makerere University, Uganda. She is an assistant Director for Crop Development in the Ministry of Agriculture. She also works as a Lecturer at Mzuzu University where she is responsible for subjects such as Genetics, Plant Breeding and Biochemistry.

Research Interests and societal interests

Use of inorganic pesticides in agriculture is a major problem. Use of resistant varieties to crop pests would reduce emissions in the environment.

  • Breeding for new crop varieties through use of biotechnology, a rapid and sure way in quantitative complicated traits such as pest and disease resistance, is my interest.

Expectations as a QES Scholar during the Mobility Period

  • Gain knowledge and skills in advanced biotechnological tools for plant breeding and pest management
  • Network with other scholars and form a strong interdisciplinary research team on climate change
  • Gain skills in transforming youths into agricultural entrepreneurs

The QES Project and Advancement of your Career

In the long run, Ulemu is looking forward to this collaboration bearing the fruits of establishing a Biotechnology laboratory at Mzuzu University where molecular breeding for various crops will be done. Molecular plant breeding reduces the time taken to produce crop varieties thereby reducing the pressure on land. She is envisaging that this Biotechnology lab will grow into a Centre of Excellence for crop improvement not only in the sub Saharan region but the whole Africa.