Career Summary Viewer: Mr Keith Virgo

Personal Information
Title: Mr TAA Member No: 954
Forenames: Keith Year of Birth: 1941
Surname: Virgo Email Address:
Honours/Award: Fellow of Royal Society of Biology    

University Qualification & Completion Year

1976 Cranfield University, Silsoe Colege Diploma of Agric Engineering
1964 University of Aberdeen MSc Soil Science
1962 Wye College, University of London BSc (Hons) Agriculture

Career Summary
From 1964 I worked as a soil surveyor with the UK consultancy firm, Hunting Technical Services, working on large aid-funded irrigation projects in NE, W & S Africa, Middle East and SE Asia. During 1967-68, I moved to Alberta in Canada as a soil surveyor with the Canada Dept of Agriculture, surveying 'grey-wooded soils' in northern Alberta. I returned to Huntings in 1968 and continued as a soil surveyor, land resources planner and team leader on overseas development projects in Thailand, Cote d'Ivoire, Swaziland, Ethiopia, Somalia and Bahrain. In 1980, I joined WS Atkins in Cambridge and continued on assignments across North and sub-Sahara Africa, Middle East, Caribbean, S & SE Asia. This was mainly in management roles as technical assistance team leader on community-based aid-funded rural development projects. Much of my time since 1986 was spent in the Koshi hills of Nepal and on EC and DFiD projects in the Indian Himalayas and central India. Most of this work focused on community-based watershed and farming development. Since 2001, I have been a freelance consultant and have undertaken project preparation and evaluation for IFAD, EU, DFiD and ADB, mostly in India, Nepal, Afghanistan and Egypt, as well as several Project Completion missions for ADB in Sri Lanka. I am still open to short-term consultancies that interest me.

In 2002, I became interested in the possibilities of village tourism in the Indian Himalayas. With Indian and UK colleagues we set up a company in India, Village Ways Pvt Ltd ( to promote community-based tourism, developing village tourism enterprises in which the communities benefit directly from guests, who stay in community-owned guesthouses. As a Founder Director of the company, we have now established Village Tourism Enterprises with partner villagers across India, Ethiopia and Nepal.

I have long been a member of the Tropical Agriculture Association (TAA), serving on ExCo since the mid-80s, responsible for the Directory of CVs, Convenor for East Anglia, Web Manager and as Chairman since 2013.

I have had several papers published in technical journals, and presented papers at conferences, such as the Cambridge International Development conference, and conferences in India, Thailand and elsewhere.

Last Updated: 11/04/2018