CV page

Libère Nkurunziza

Libére Nkurunziza
The core area of L. Nkurunziza research and teaching is on "Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems" at the Department of Crop Production Ecology, Faculty of Natural Resources and Agriculture.


L. Nkurunziza is a senior researcher (Associate Professor) with interests on sustainability and resilience of farming and food systems. Nkurunziza's research emphasizes the evaluation and improvement of sustainable agricultural production systems under different socio-ecological conditions. The research is done in an interdisciplinary fashion including social scientists, agronomists, soil scientists and more. 


The teaching experience comes from his involvment in courses including

i) 2008-2010: Weed science at the University of Copenhagen,

ii) 2012-2014: Biology and agricultural plant production, SLU

iii)  2017- today: Ecology of Agricultural Cropping Systems, SLU (Course leader in 2017).

iv) 2021-2023: Agricultural Science for agronomists, and 

v) 2019- today: International Training Programs (funded by SIDA).


Currently, we seek to understand and produce knowledge around on-farm practices and strategies to manage water resources and nutrients under a range of socio-economic conditions and climate variability. The development of climate smart and sustainable agriculture have recently become of high interest. To assess the sustainability, we integrate both environmental and financial dimensions in the analyses. 

Ongoing and completed projects:

1. Improving biodiversity governance and sustainable livelihoods with capacities for environmental monitoring and assessment (Democratic Republic of Congo), Funded by SIDA, ongoing-started 2023

2. Transformational climate-smart options for sustainable agriculture and resilience on smallholder farms in areas with coarse-textured soils (Zimbabwe), Funded by The Swedish Research Council (VR), ongoing-started 2019

3. Strengthened Institutions for a sustainable Climate (Kenya), Funded by SIDA, ongoing-started 2019

4. Food security, nutrition and resilience (Burundi), Funded by  The Directorate General for International Partnerships (DG-INTPA), The European Commission, 2019-2023

5. Solution for increasing farm system resilience and carbon sinks on sandy soils (Kenya), Funded by The Nordic Climate Facility (Nordic Development Bank), 2019-2022

6. Effects of extreme weather on Swedish varieties (Sweden), Funded by Future Food (SLU), 2018-2019

7. Effects of land use change on multifunctionality in agroecosystems (Sweden), Funded by Formas, 2013-2017

8. The effects of cropping systems including preceding crop, tillage systems and fungicide application, on performance of Winter wheat (Sweden), Funded by Formas, 2012-2015

9. Winter wheat overwintering: Risk analysis of winter wheat domage due to forst (Sweden), Funded by the Swedish Farmers' Foundation for Agricultural Research (SLF), 2012-2015

10. Extreme weather in crop production: the evaluation of economical consequences and strategies to minimize the effects (Sweden), Funded by the Swedish Farmers' Foundation for Agricultural Research (SLF), 2012-2015

11. Modeling the effects of genotype-environment interations on maize cultivars under climate variability (Sweden), Funded by SLU, 2011-2013

12. Effective control of weeds in organic cropping- novel technology and new management strategies (Denmark), Funded by the International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems, 2007-2010

Environmental analysis

Improving biodiversity governance and sustainable livelihoods with capacities for environmental monitoring and assessment (Democratic Republic of Congo), Funded by SIDA, ongoing-started 2023


Nkurunziza L. is in collaboration with the Alliance Bioversity and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Michigan State University (MSU), University of Bindura (Zimbabwe), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT, Kenya) and is involved in The European Institutions for Agricultural Research and Education for Development (Agrinatura).

Within Agrinatura, Nkurunziza has contributed with expertise on:

1) Scoping study on the food security, nutrition and resilience with emphasis on agricultural value chain development,

2) The methodological development of "Measuring Resilience" in rural development programs,and

3)The review of CGIAR Research Programs- Putting Research into Use for Nutrition, Sustainable Agriculture and Resilience (PRUNSAR) funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the European Commission (EC).  


Libère Nkurunziza is agronomist (Ingénieur agronome from University of Burundi, 1999), a holder of a MSc in Applied Biology (University of Linköping, 2006) and a PhD holder (University of Copenhagen, 2010). Besides my research, the professional experience includes teaching and outreach activities involving many stakeholders in the agricultural sector.


PhD student: Sandra Makaita Madamombe (co-supervisor)

PhD student: Sylus Kipngeno Musei (co-supervisor)

Selected publications

  • Musei SK, Kuyah S, Nyawira S, Ng’ang’a SK, Karugu WN, Smucker A and Nkurunziza L (2024) Sandy soil reclamation technologies to improve crop productivity and soil health: a review. Front. Soil Sci. 4:1345895.
    doi: 10.3389/fsoil.2024.134589
  • Madamombe SM., Ng’ang’a SK., Ingrid O., Nyamadzawo G., Ngonidzashe C., Kihara J. and Nkurunziza L. (2024). Climate change awareness and adaptation strategies by smallholder farmers in semi-arid areas of Zimbabwe. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. Vol. 22, Issue 1, 2293588
  • Kuyah S., Buleti S., Dimobe K., Nkurunziza L., Moussa S., Mthuri C., Öborn I (2023). Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration in Africa: Evidence for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in Drylands. In: Dagar, J.C., Gupta, S.R., Sileshi, G.W. (eds) Agroforestry for Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture in Asia and Africa. Sustainability Sciences in Asia and Africa. Springer, Singapore.
  • Ghanem EM., Sadiki M., Schmitz S., Akinbamijo Y.,  Hughes J., Abousabaa A., Petithuguenin P., Lingnau H.,  Nnadozie K., Azam-Ali S., Fadda C., Tussie DG., Thiam P.,  Bammite D., Danquah E., Fennell S., Mengistu F., Nkurunziza L.,  Adu OM., Ryan P., Wasike V. (2022) . Africa’s forgotten crops could offset food insecurity. Nature 605, 30
  • Nkurunziza L., Kuyah S.,  Nyawira S., Ng'ang'a SK., Musei S., Chirinda N., Karugu W., Smucker A. and Öborn I. (2021) Reducing climate risks by improving food production and value chains: A case of sandy soils in semi-arid Kenya. Frontiers in Climate-Climate Risk Management 3, 766583 DOI: 10.3389/fclim.2021.766583
  • Kuyah S., Sileshi WD., Nkurunziza L., Chirinda N., Ndayisaba PC., Dimobe K., Öborn I (2021) Innovative agronomic practices for sustainable intensification in sub-Saharan Africa. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development. Vol. 41 Issue 2
  • Nkurunziza L., Watson CA., Öborn I., Smith GH., Bergkvist G. and Bengtsson J. (2020) Socio-ecological factors determine crop performance in agricultural systems. Scientific Reports 10: 4232.
  • Nkurunziza L, Chirinda N, Lana M, Sommer R, Karanja S, Rao I, Sanchez MR, Quintero M, Kuyah S, Lewu F, Joel A, Nyamadzawo G and Smucker A (2019) The Potential Benefits and Trade-Offs of Using Sub-surface Water Retention Technology on Coarse-Textured Soils: Impacts of Water and Nutrient Saving on Maize Production and Soil Carbon Sequestration. Front. Sustain. Food Syst. 3:71. doi: 10.3389/fsufs.2019.00071
  • Bergjord-Olsen AK., Persson T., de Wit A., Nkurunziza L., Sindhöj E. and Eckersten H. (2018) Estimating winter survival of winter wheat by simulations of plant frost tolerance. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science. Vol. 204, 62-73
  • Nkurunziza L., Chongtham IR, Watson CA., Marstorp H., Öborn I., Bergkvist G. and J. Bengtsson (2017) Understanding effects of multiple farm management practices on barley performance. European Journal of Agronomy 90, 43-52
  • Nkurunziza, L., Chirinda, N., Romero, M.Q.M., Rao, I., Prager, S., Sommer, R., Kuyak, S., Lewu, F., Joel, A., Escobar, G., Naramabuye, F.X., Mulidzi, R., Julio Duarte Pérez, J.D. and, A. Smucker (2017). A new technology for optimizing plant available water and nutrients in root zones of permeable soils. Agricultural Sciences for Development conference, Uppsala, 20-21 September 2017
  • Persson T., Bergjord Olsen AK, Nkurunziza L., Sindhöj E. and Eckersten H. (2016) Estimation of Crown Temperature of Winter Wheat and the Effect on Simulation of Frost Tolerance. Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 203, 161-176
  • Vico G., Manzoni S., Nkurunziza L., Murphy K., Weih M. (2016) Tradeoffs between seed output and life span- A quantitative comparison of traits between annual and perennial congeneric species. New phytologist 209, 104-114
  • Nkurunziza L., de Toro A.; von Rosen D. & Eckersten H. (2015) Effects of extreme weather on yields of major cereal crops in Sweden: Analysis of long-term experiment data. Aspects of Applied Biology 128, 165-172
  • Nkurunziza L., Marstorp H., Chongtham IR.; Thored K.; Öborn I.; Bergkvist G. & Bengtsson J. (2015) Projections to Latent Structures (PLS) to evaluate farming system effects on agro-ecosystem services: Changes after transition from conventional to organic farming system. 5thInternational Symposium for farmings System design, 7-10 September, 2015, Montpellier, France
  • Bergjord AK.; Persson T.; Sindhöj E.; Nkurunziza L.; Eckersten H. (2015) Estimating winter survival of winter wheat by simulations of plant frost tolerance.  Agriculture and climate change: Adapting crops to increased uncertainty. 15-17 February, 2015, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Eckersten H., Djurle A., Albihn A., Andersson L., Båge R., de Toro A., Gärdenäs A.I.,      Hultgren J., Kvarnheden A., Lewan E., Nkurunziza L., Rosén K., Spörndly R., Vågsholm I., von Rosen D., Yuen J., Magnusson U.(2015)  Future risks and threats  against Swedish cereal and milk production; an analysis of need of research for risk as assessment (In Swedish; Framtida risker och hot mot svensk spannmåls- respektive mjölk produktion;  en analys av forskningsbehov för att bedöma risker) 156 pp.  Especially in Chapter A.3.4. Extreme summer weather- Cereals by Djurle A., de Toro A., Lewan A., Nkurunziza L., von Rosen D., and Eckersten H. pp. 107-123.
  • de Toro A., Eckersten H, Nkurunziza L., von Rosen D. (2015). Effects of extreme weather on yield of major arable crops in Sweden (In Reports series of the Department of Energy and Technology, Nr 086, 301 pp
  • Nkurunziza L., Halling M., Weih M. & H. Eckersten (2014) Can data series from variety testing be used to predict yields in leys? International Journal of AgriScience 4, 486-489
  • Nkurunziza L & Bergkvist G (2014) Effects of crop rotations and preceding crop on winter wheat. ( In Swedish: Växtföljds- och förfruktseffekter på höstvete. In Elmquist & Arvidsson J. (Eds.) Höstvete mot nya höjder), Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet. Rapporter från jordbearbetningen i samarbete med Odling i Balans, Rapport nr 129. 103-113
  • Nkurunziza L., Kornher A., Hetta M., Halling M., Weih M. & H. Eckersten (2014) Crop genotype-environment modelling to evaluate forage maize cultivars under climate variability. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B – Soil & Plant Science 64, 56-70
  • Nkurunziza L; Kornher A; Halling M; Weih M and Eckersten H (2013) Simulation of cultivar performances in forage maize quality and yield in future climate. In Höglind, M; Eckersten, H; Thorvaldsson, G and Niemelänen, O (Eds) Nordic Forage Model Applications- Predicting forage yield and quality in a variable and changing climate, NJF Report no 9 (1). 7 - 8.
  • Nkurunziza L; Kornher A; Halling M; Weih M and Eckersten H (2012) Model-based cultivar testing with genotype parameters and weather conditions. 12th Congress of the European Society of Agronomy, Finland, 99-100
  • Nkurunziza L. (2011) Reduction of agricultural fossil energy use with ecosystem services from plants (in Swedish: Ökat oberoende av jordbruks fossil energi med hjälp av växter), Lantbrukarnas Riksförbund (LRF), Stockholm. Rapport. 33 pp.
  • Nkurunziza L. & Streibig JC (2011) Carbohydrate dynamics during early growth of perenial weeds, Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. and Tussilago farfara L. Weed Research 51,461-468
  • Nkurunziza L, Rosenqvist E & Streibig JC (2010) Photosynthesis and growth of newly established shoots of Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. and Tussilago farfara L. are resource independent. Weed Research 51, 33- 40
  • Nkurunziza L & Milberg P (2007) Repeated grading of weed abundance and multivariate methods to improve efficacy in on-farm weed control trials. Weed Biology and Management 7, 132-139.


Researcher at the Department of Crop Production Ecology; Agricultural cropping systems
Telephone: +4618672418
Postal address:
Inst för växtproduktionsekologi, Box 7043
Visiting address: Ulls väg 16, Uppsala