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Jafni Bin Johari Jiken

PhD Student, Research Postgraduate

PhD Student, Research Postgraduate in the Business School


Jafni is a PhD student at Durham University Business School's Department of Management and Marketing. He has over 15 years of experience working in the agricultural industry. He holds a Master of Science (Hons) in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering from Iowa State University in the United States and a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Mechatronics Engineering from International Islamic University Malaysia.
His research interests include digital agriculture, R&D strategic management, R&D business models, and technology and innovation management. His study is motivated by real-world issues and is particularly applicable to the agriculture industry, food technology, and technology transfer.
Jafni's studies are related to his prior position as Deputy Director of Public Relations Programme, Corporate Communication Centre at Malaysia's Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI). His crucial responsibility in the strategic planning process as a management team member was to predict future trends in agricultural research through communication and involvement with stakeholders. He was instrumental in anticipating, analysing, and interpreting public opinion, attitudes, and concerns to curate and preserve MARDI's public image. These were accomplished by developing strategic communication strategies and plans for implementation in industrial relations, media relations, public affairs, executive positioning, and industry outreach.
Jafni also had the honour of working with Malaysia's Ministry of Agriculture as the Manager of Innovation and Technology in the Youth Agropreneur Unit. His primary responsibility was to design and build strategic business models related to contemporary agricultural technology to produce 1,000 new young entrepreneurs and assist them in developing their business models. His team was in charge of allocating MYR100 million in investment to 1,000 new young entrepreneurs. His second position was as a strategic advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture on which technologies young entrepreneurs should use on a case-by-case basis.
His principal role as a Research Officer at the Mechanization and Automation Research Centre, MARDI, was to lead research and development initiatives that efficiently solve agriculture and food sector difficulties. He was in charge of planning, directing, and organising actions to create overarching concepts for new agricultural and food goods and technologies.
Precision Agriculture, in which he was part of a team to develop drones to monitor and gather data from crop fields, was recognised as 'The Best Cross-Functional Team Project' in the MARDI Innovation Award in 2012. He also created a patent-pending mangosteen opener handtool called 'MagNer,' which won a Silver Award at the International Technology Exhibition (ITEX 2012) and the Malaysia Science and Technology Exhibition (MTE 2012), as well as 'AmBeelance,' a customised bee carrier designed to save bees that have migrated to public areas.

Jafni is a PhD student whose research study is focused on digital agriculture, R&D strategic management, and technology and innovation management. With an engineering academic background, he has more than 15 years of working experience in the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute and the Ministry of Agriculture in Malaysia as a researcher in agriculture engineering, Manager of Technology and Innovation for Youth Agropreneur Unit and Deputy Director of Public Relations, Corporate Communication Centre before pursuing his PhD studies. His study is motivated by real-world issues and is particularly applicable to the agriculture industry, food technology, and technology transfer.

Research interests

  • Innovation and Technology Management
  • Strategic Management for R&D Organisation
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