Resource and Capacity Building Committee


Nityananda Khanal

Nityananda Khanal, PhD
Research Scientist
Integrated Forage Crops Management, Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada

Dr. Nityananda Khanal, born and raised in a farm family in Arghakhanchi-Nepal, is a research scientist working for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, a department of Government of Canada. He currently leads Forage Research Program at Beaverlodge Research Farm covering the aspects of cropping systems design, soils and plant nutrient management, plant growth regulation, plant protection, population improvement, breeder’s seed maintenance and cultivar testing for local adaptation. He also serves as an advisor to various industry associations and is invited to deliver talks in industry events. Dr. Khanal has expertise in crop physiology, agronomy and breeding of forages and field crops. He received over a dozen of academic scholarship awards including Outstanding PhD Student Award, and numerous recognitions for his dedicated professional work. He is affiliated with five professional forums including: Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professional of Americas (NAPA), Alberta Institute of Agrologists, Canadian Society of Agronomy, Canadian Society of Plant Biologists, and American Society of Agronomy. Before coming to Canada for PhD, Dr. Khanal served Nepalese communities in the motherland through governmental and non-governmental system as a teacher, technician, researcher and developmental specialist for over a decade. In Canada, he helped hundreds of Nepalese individuals and families in various ways and took initiatives in cultural promotion events. He is a NAPA life member and has been serving as editor-in-chief of the NAPA quarterly online newsletter Agri-Connection since 2018. He feels an honor to serve in the NAPA Executive Committee passed down and led by visionary leaders, and supported by dedicated colleagues.

Member / Academic Liaison Coordinator

Rajan Ghimire.jpg

Rajan Ghimire, PhD
Assistant Professor
New Mexico State University, New Mexico, USA

Dr. Rajan Ghimire is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University. He received postdoctoral training from Oregon State University, Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Wyoming, and MS in Agriculture from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Dr. Ghimire leads a multidisciplinary, externally funded, nationally and internationally recognized research program on soil organic matter dynamics, nutrient cycling, greenhouse gas emissions, and soil organic matter-microbial community interactions in cropping systems. His research accomplishments have been documented in 55 peer-reviewed journal papers and book chapters, 23 extension articles, and more than 90 professional meeting abstracts and proceedings. Agronomy, Crop, and Soil Science Societies of America featured his cover crop research in their Science News in 2020, and the Journal of Integrative Agriculture recognized his research paper on soil carbon sequestration as the “Top Article of the Year 2019”. Dr. Ghimire received the “Emerging Scientist Award” from the Western Society of Crop Science in 2020. He is a 2020 vice-leader of ASA Soil Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Emissions community and 2019 presiding leader of the ASA Global Climate Change Community. He also serves on the “SSSA committee on Global Soil Partnership Soil indicators for Sustainable Soil Management, 2020”. He has been serving on several committees of the Agronomy, Crop, and Soil Science Society of America and the US Department of Agriculture. Dr. Ghimire is an editor of the journals “Agronomy Journal” and “Sustainability.” He has taught courses on soil science and agroecology at the University of Wyoming 2012-2013 and Tribhuvan University, Nepal 2006-2009. He was born and raised in Gorkha, Nepal. He is a life member of NAPA and has served as a Chair of the NAPA Scholarship Committee 2018/2019, a member of Scientific Committee for 2018 and 2020 Conference, and a member of Resource and Capacity Building Committee 2020-2021.


Buddhi Gyawali

Buddhi Gyawali, PhD
Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Kentucky, USA

Dr. Buddhi Gyawali is a Professor in the School of Agriculture, Food and Environment at Kentucky State University (KSU), Kentucky. He received his MS and PhD from Alabama A&M University, Alabama in 2007 and a bachelor’s degree from Tribhuvan University, Nepal in 1993. Dr. Gyawali’s research and teaching emphasize on multidisciplinary human dimensions of natural resources-land-use land cover-change, GIS and remote sensing applications in agriculture & natural resource studies, climate studies, surface mining and microclimate impacts, spatial modeling, regional and urban development studies, farms productivity, sustainability, diversification & microenterprise development. Dr. Gyawali has served in various professional service organizations including Southern Rural Sociological Society, Geography section, Kentucky Academic of Science, University Tenure and Promotion Committee, International Program Development Committee, and Kentucky Agriculture Science Monitoring Committee (KASMC). He has organized several workshops and training sessions. He also served as a grant review panelist in a USDA/AFRI Sustainable Agriculture System (SAS). His accomplishment has been documented in 18 peer-reviewed journals and proceedings.

Member / Resource Generation Coordinator

manoj Karkee

Manoj Karkee, PhD
Associate Professor
Washington State University, Prosser, Washington, USA

Dr. Manoj Karkee is an Associate Professor in the Biological Systems Engineering Department at Washington State University (WSU). He was born and raised in eastern hills of Nepal. He received his diploma in Civil Engineering and undergraduate in Computer Engineering from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. His MS was in remote sensing and GIS from Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand and his PhD was in Agricultural Engineering and Human Computer Interaction from Iowa State University. Dr. Karkee leads a strong research program in the area of sensing, machine vision and agricultural robotics at the WSU Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems. He has published widely in such journals as ‘Journal of Field Robotics’, ‘Computers and Electronics in Agriculture’, and ‘Transactions of the ASABE’, and has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international conferences and universities. Dr. Karkee is currently serving as an elected chair for International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) Technical Committee 8.1, Control in Agriculture, as an associate editor for ‘Transactions of the ASABE’, as a guest editor for ‘Sensors’, and Editorial Committee Member of Information Processing in Agriculture. Dr. Karkee was awarded ‘2020 Railbird Engineering Concept of the Year’ by American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, was recognized as ‘2019 Pioneer in Artificial Intelligence and IoT’ by Connected World magazine, and was featured as the ‘Western Innovator’ by Capital Press. Dr. Karkee served as a member for NAPA Executive Committee, 2018-2020 and currently serving as the Chair of Scientific Committee, 2nd NAPA International Scientific Conference to be held online in September, 2020..


Aditya Khanal

Aditya R. Khanal, PhD
Assiatant Professor
Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Dr. Aditya R. Khanal is an agricultural and applied economist. He is an assistant professor of agribusiness at Tennessee State University, Nashville since October 2015. He has a PhD in agricultural economics from Louisiana State University and has three Masters Degrees: MS in agricultural economics and MS in finance from Louisiana State University and a MA in Economics from Virginia Tech. Prior to coming to U.S. for higher studies, he received his B.S. in Agricultural Sciences from IAAS of Tribhuvan University, Nepal in 2006 and worked as a socio-economist in a non-government organization, Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD), Nepal for 2 years. Dr. Khanal's area of expertise include agribusiness and entrepreneurship, finance, food security, alternative agricultural enterprises and impacts, production economics, and economic development in developed and developing countries. He has produced nearly 50 research publications in past 4-5 years and has generated research grants as principal investigator and co-investigator. His publication was named as 2017 outstanding journal article: highly commended from Emerald Publishing. He was named as "Outstanding Young Scholar of Agricultural Finance" from Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), professional society of agricultural economists in 2018. He also received "2018 Outstanding Young Researcher Award" from the College of Agriculture at Tennessee State University. Dr. Khanal teaches agribusiness management, applied microeconomics, and agricultural finance. He is actively involved in professional societies, is an active member of Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), Southern Agricultural Economics Association (SAEA) and serves as reviewer for dozens of scientific journals related to agriculture and applied economics. He is a member of Nepalese Agricultural Professionals of Americas (NAPA), and a life member of Nashville Nepalese Association (NNA). Dr. Khanal was born in Gulmi District of Nepal and raised in Gulmi and Rupandehi districts of Nepal.

Member / NARC Liaison Coordinator

Sharad Marahattha

Sharad Marahattha, PhD
Assiatant Professor
University of Hawai, Hilo, Hawai, USA

Dr. Sharad P. Marahatta is an Assistant Professor (Tropical Cropping Systems) in College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management at University of Hawai`i (UH) at Hilo since August, 2018. He earned his doctorate from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, College of Agriculture and Human Resources, in the field of Tropical Plant Pathology. He had worked as a UH faculty at Kaua`i Community College (KauaiCC) from August 2011 to July 2018, where he served as the Director for the USDA project, Campus Coordinator for Hawaii Statewide Research and Education Partnership (HSREP) / IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) and Program Coordinator for Plant Biology and Tropical Agriculture (PBT) for KauaiCC.


Pramod Pokhrel

Pramod Pokhrel, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA

Dr. Pramod Pokhrel is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University. He is currently researching on modeling greenhouse gas emission in dryland sorghum production in the semi-arid Texas High Plains. Dr. Pokhrel completed his undergraduate degree from the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), Chitwan in 2010. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, he worked as a District Coordinator for Vegetable Seed Project at Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension, and Development (CEAPRED), Okhaldhunga from 2012 -2013. Dr. Pokhrel joined Dryland Agricultural Institute at West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas in 2014. He completed his master’s degree with the research focused on the dryland cropping systems in 2016 and started his doctoral study at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Dr. Pokhrel’s doctoral research emphasized on using computer simulation modeling to evaluate the crop performance. Dr. Pokhrel is a life member of NAPA. In addition to serving on Resource and Capacity Building Committee (RCBC), he coordinates and updates NAPA’s – Graduate Assistantship compilation page.

Member / Database management Coordinator

Sonisha Sharma

Sonisa Sharma, PhD
Research Associate
Noble Research Institute, Ardmore, Oklahoma, USA

Dr. Sonisa Sharma is a research associate at Noble Research Institute. She received postdoctoral training from Kansas State University, Ph.D. in Soil Science from the Oklahoma State University, and MS in Natural Resources from University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Her research accomplishments have been documented in 3 peer-reviewed journal papers and more than 10 professional meeting abstracts and proceedings. Dr. Sharma is Reviewer Board Member of MDPI and has reviewed more than 20 papers. She has taught “Introduction to Soil Science” and “Introductory GIS” classes while working as graduate student in OSU and UNL. She was born and raised in Chitwan, Nepal. She is a life member of NAPA.

Member / Mini-Grant Coordinator

Bharat Man Shrestha

Bharat Man Shrestha, PhD
Biology Study Lead
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada

Dr. Bharat Shrestha is a Biology Study Lead, (Soil Health and Fertility Development) at the Beaverlodge Research Station, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). Originally, he is from Gorkha, Nepal. He received his BSc in Forestry and MA in Sociology from the Tribhuvan University (TU), Nepal. After serving as an Instructor at the Institute of Forestry, TU, Pokhara for 5 years, he won a NORAD fellowship to go to Norway in 2000. He earned an MSc in Management of Natural Resources and Sustainable Agriculture in 2002 and a PhD in Soil Science in 2008 from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Ås, Norway. He came to Canada as a postdoctoral researcher at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario in 2008 after winning an Ontario government’s PDF award. From 2010 to 2013, he was an NSERC fellow at the Ottawa Research and Development Centre of AAFC. Later, he worked as an Agricultural Data Analyst for Environment Canada in Gatineau, Quebec from 2013 to 2014, and as a Soil and Water Research Biologist at the Ontario Forest Research Institute in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario from 2015 to 2016. Before joining the position at Beaverlodge Research Station, he worked at the University of Alberta, Edmonton as a Research Associate from April 2017 to January 2020. Over these years, he has developed an extended network of experts in soil, crop and livestock science, and associated experience. He has a broad-suite of baseline assessment and data analysis skills while researching peat soils, forest soils and permafrost in northern Canada; carbon-cycle dynamics within cultivated, arid prairie soils; and the effects of grazing management on soil carbon and greenhouse gas emissions on Prairie grasslands. He has published more than 20 scientific research papers reporting on effects of land use, land-use changes, crop and land management on soil carbon, nutrient dynamics and greenhouse gas emissions and regional climate.

He was a member of the editorial board for a book Sustainable Livelihood Systems in Nepal published by Canada Foundation for Nepal (CFFN) and IUCN, Nepal in 2015. He also served an executive editor for “Darpan”, a literary publication of International Nepalese Literary Society (INLS), Canada.

Dr. Shrestha is active in Nepalese communities as well. He is a founding Board of Directors of INLS, Canada. He served as a publication director for CFFN from 2013 to 2015 and as a Fundraising Coordinator for Calgary Nepalese Community Association (CNCA) from 2014 to 2015. Dr. Shrestha is a life member of CNCA, Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA), Canada, and the Association of Nepalese Agricultural Professionals of Americas (NAPA). He is an active professional member of Alberta Institute of Agrologists (AIA).