Staal is the Program Leader for the Policy Trade and Value Chains team. He has over twenty years of experience in various aspects of smallholder agriculture in Africa and Asia, in research and research management. Following his PhD in agricultural economics from the Uuniversity of Florida, he joined ILRI as an agricultural economist on the Market-Oriented Smallholder Dairy (MOSD) research team in Nairobi, Kenya. He subsequently played roles as dairy team leader, director of the Market Opportunities Program, and deputy director general. His research has addressed smallholder producer competitiveness, policies in input and output markets serving livestock producers, economic efficiency and public health in informal dairy markets, consumer demand for dairy products, evaluation of technology interventions on smallholder farms, and spatial analysis of the intensification of smallholder livestock systems.