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Dr Skhu Sinyolo
Senior Research Specialist

Dr Sikhulumile Sinyolo is a Senior Research Specialist in the Inclusive Economic Development (IED) Division at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). He joined the HSRC in 2017 and is based in the Pretoria Office. Sikhulumile?s research focuses on smallholder farming systems, agri-food systems, food and nutrition security, socio-economic dimensions of innovation, and rural development. His main interest is in findings ways to improve the levels of productivity and commercialisation of smallholder farmers for better access to food, nutrition, and inclusive economic development outcomes in marginalised contexts, particularly rural areas.

Dr Sinyolo holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, which he completed in 2016. He also holds an MSc in Agricultural Economics (cum laude), and a Postgraduate Diploma in Food Security (Distinction) from the same university. His BSc (Hons) Agriculture (Agric Economics) was completed First Class at the University of Zimbabwe in 2010. Before joining the HSRC in 2017, Sikhulumile worked as an Agricultural Economist on several rural development and farming projects at the Lima Rural Development Foundation in Pietermaritzburg. Sikhulumile also worked as a researcher at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and as a Development Economist for Ziyanda Consulting Engineers in Pietermaritzburg.

Dr Sinyolo has seventeen peer-reviewed journal articles, one book chapter, and five conference papers on rural development, technology adoption, food security, social protection and welfare, smallholder irrigation and water security, rural innovation and entrepreneurship. Dr Sinyolo has co-led several large projects since joining the HSRC in 2017. He was the Co-Principal Investigator of the project titled Mapping the innovation landscape of the Karoo region, funded by the Department of Science and Innovation in 2019. He also co-led the Land Size Efficiency Simulation project, which was funded by the United Nations Development Programme (2018/19). Dr Sinyolo is currently leading a project aimed at establishing Innovation for local economic development (ILED) communities of practices in selected districts in South Africa, funded by the DSI.