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Angella Atero: Fascination with Food Leads to Fulfilling Career

Angella Atero is a nutritionist and food technologist who has been fascinated with food and health since she was a teenager. 

“I read a lot about the nutritional value of foods and particularly got interested in the nutrition of children, as I had a younger brother and sister,” she says. “I tried to make healthy recipes for my mum to prepare for us. I just loved to know what was in what I was eating.”

Angella pursued a B.Sc. in Food Science and Technology and then an M.Sc. in Applied Human Nutrition from Makerere University and a postgraduate diploma in project monitoring and evaluation from Uganda Management Institute. “I generally love science because it is practical and relevant to our everyday lives,” she says. “Nutrition translates directly to what we are and with a healthy body we can reach where we want to go.”

After working as a food technologist in a production factory and then with the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, she joined the International Food Policy Research Institute to work with HarvestPlus in 2013. “I work as a nutrition, communication, and advocacy specialist,” she says. “My work is to create demand for biofortified crops among vulnerable communities in Uganda and generally lobby government and other stakeholders to embrace the concept of biofortification.” 

Angella values the chance to bring better health to others. “Working for HarvestPlus has opened up a whole new world for me,” she says. “I’m able to promote the nutrient dense staple food crops in a balanced diet setting and also emphasise on hygiene and sanitation. I love to see healthy looking people.”  

She answers unequivocally when asked for advice about getting more women and girls into science: “I say let them go for it! There is need for more women in science careers. When women are empowered especially in areas of nutrition and agriculture, their families are healthier.”