Posts Tagged ‘seed’

Seed Systems Team Strategizes and Plans for Africa

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Maize

By Florence Sipalla/CIMMYT

 

The CIMMYT-Africa seed systems team met in Nairobi, Kenya, on 7 February to take stock of progress in 2013, identify challenges and brainstorm on turning those challenges into opportunities. Global Maize Program (GMP) Director B.M. Prasanna and members of the breeding, communications and socioeconomics teams also attended.

Nepal Project Explores Wheat Diversity

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Asia, Wheat

By Brenna Goth/CIMMYT
A CIMMYT project in Nepal made significant progress in identifying local wheat diversity last year.

Members of a seed cooperative in the Changathali village, Lalitpur district near Kathmandu, Nepal. The group has been practicing participatory varietal selection (PVS), seed production and dissemination for the last 10 years, but is now facing problems due to urbanization. Maiya Maharjam (wearing the yellow scarf) is the leader of this cooperative and previously won the NARC award for PVS and seed distribution.

Members of a seed cooperative in the Changathali village, Lalitpur district near Kathmandu, Nepal. The group has been practicing participatory
varietal selection (PVS), seed production and dissemination for the last 10 years, but is now facing problems due to urbanization. Maiya Maharjam (wearing the yellow scarf) is the leader of this cooperative and previously won the NARC award for PVS and seed distribution.

The project, “Collection, multiplication, characterization and safety duplication of wheat and barley landraces from Nepal,” led by Arun Kumar Joshi, principal scientist for the Global Wheat Program, began in January 2013 and will run until October 2015. National partners include Madan Raj Bhatta and Bal Krishna Joshi from the Nepal Agriculture Research Council, Khumaltar, Lalitpur.

 

Since the project began, researchers have developed guidelines “to explore, collect and characterize wheat and barley diversity,” according to the project’s 2013 Technical and Financial Progress Report. They found that traditional wheat diversity exists with opportunities for further exploration.

 

A cabinet in the headquarters of the National Wheat Research Program, Bhairhawa, displays a selection of wheat seed. Photos: Emma Quilligan

A cabinet in the headquarters of the National Wheat Research Program, Bhairhawa, displays a selection of wheat seed. Photos: Emma Quilligan

Researchers focused on the Baitadi, Dadeldhura and Doti districts in western Nepal, a traditional wheat region. Researchers visited Village Development Committees and farmers to collect seed and interviews. Farmers are still cultivating a variety of landraces, which feature drought tolerance and good chapatti quality. In total, 85 wheat accessions were collected and mapped along with 16 barley landraces. Employees from Nepal’s gene bank also helped with the effort.

 

The collections are currently under regeneration. The gene bank will send about 180 wheat and 50 barley collections to CIMMYT and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) by June 2015 for duplication.

CIMMYT Seed Heads to the Frozen North

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Genetic resources, México

By Miriam Shindler/CIMMYT

CIMMYT’s Wellhausen-Anderson Gene Bank sent its fifth shipment of seed to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway last week for safeguarding.

Thirty-four boxes containing about 420 kilograms of seed left from CIMMYT’s El Batán headquarters on 7 February for the vault, which is deeply embedded in the frozen mountains of Svalbard. Isolated on the Norwegian Island of Spitsbergen, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, the Global Seed Vault is keeping the genetic diversity of the world’s crops safe for future generations by storing duplicates of seeds from gene banks across the globe.

Tom Payne (left), Denise Costich and Miguel Ángel López help load the seed shipment from the CIMMYT Germplasm Bank, on its way to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. Photo: Xochiquetzal Fonseca/CIMMYT

Tom Payne (left), Denise Costich and Miguel Ángel López help load the seed shipment from the CIMMYT Germplasm Bank, on its way to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway. Photo: Xochiquetzal Fonseca/CIMMYT

CIMMYT sent 1,946 accessions of maize and 5,964 of wheat accessions to add to that collection. Over the past several years, CIMMYT has sent 123,057 accessions of maize and wheat, which is essential for protecting valuable genetic diversity. CIMMYT is working with the Norwegian government and the Global Crop Diversity Trust, who manage the Global Seed Vault, to keep maize and wheat seed safe against a global catastrophe.

Seed technologists benefit from production training

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, improved seed, Training

By Adefris Teklewold and Dagne Wegary/CIMMYT

Developing Ethiopia’s seed sector can help bring quality protein maize (QPM) to people at risk of protein deficiencies, participants in a seed production training course learned last month.

To enhance the skills of public and private seed company agronomists and seed quality inspectors, the Nutritious Maize for Ethiopia (NuME) project hosted a QPM seed production training course from 30 October to 1 November. With funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), NuME aims to bring QPM to farmers in the major maize-growing areas of Ethiopia.

Seed companies learn business management

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in MasAgro, México, Training

By Guillermina Sosa Mendoza/CIMMYT

Photo: Xochiquetzal Fonseca/CIMMYT

Photo: Xochiquetzal Fonseca/CIMMYT

Supporting seed producers will help MasAgro to make a bigger impact, one of its leaders said last month. Experts from MasAgro’s maize component hosted a seed business management workshop for 22 representatives of small- and medium-sized Mexican enterprises from 9-13 September. The workshop took place at El Batán and included presentations and practical activities.

Félix San Vicente, leader of the International Maize Yield Consortium – MasAgro’s maize component – highlighted the importance of maintaining close communication with seed companies to learn their needs and expectations. “What we are looking for is impact. That’s what we all want, and the better-focused the impact, the greater it will be,” San Vicente said. “We know we need to support the national seed producers and look ahead.”

The workshop fostered teamwork among companies that sometimes compete in the market. One activity asked seed producers to simulate the establishment of new enterprises and design marketing strategies to foster growth under optimal conditions. Manuel Velázquez, CIMMYT external consultant, presented on the background and development of the seed sector; Alfonso Hernández, general manager of Semillas Ceres, spoke about marketing strategies, seed sale and customer service; and Beda Anghern, from Empresa Unisem, gave a talk on seed enterprise management.

John MacRobert, CIMMYT maize expert, offered advice on strategic planning, product development, seed production and business management. MacRobert focused on seed production cycles, main production challenges and the distribution process. Participants also visited companies including the Celaya branch of BIDASEM Productora y Comercializadora de Semillas and Monsanto’s Villagrán branch.

MasAgro seed network specialists receive training in new technologies for maize improvement

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in MasAgro, México, Training

By Vijay Chaikam/CIMMYT

The Sustainable Modernization of Traditional Agriculture —or MasAgro— program organized a five-day training in El Batán this month to develop skills in the use of new technologies to increase maize productivity in Mexico.

Photo: Xochiquetzal Fonseca/CIMMYT

Photo: Xochiquetzal Fonseca/CIMMYT

From Kenya to southern Africa: Effective grain storage crosses borders

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Technology

Delegates stand with a modified metal silo at a workshop at the Baraka Agricultural College in Molo, Nakuru County, Kenya. Photos: Wandera Ojanji/CIMMYT

Delegates stand with a modified metal silo at a workshop at the Baraka Agricultural College in Molo, Nakuru County, Kenya. Photos: Wandera Ojanji/CIMMYT


By Wandera Ojanji

Officials from Malawi and Zambia learned about the benefits of effective grain storage for the livelihoods of smallholder farmers during a visit to Kenya from 7 to 12 October. Malawi and Zambia are target countries of CIMMYT’s Effective Grain Storage for Sustainable Livelihoods of African Farmers (EGSP) Phase II Project. EGSP-II (2012-2016) builds on the previous phase (2008-2011) to improve the food security and reduce the vulnerability of resource-poor farmers – particularly women – in eastern and southern Africa through the dissemination of effective grain storage technology. The project is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and will help smallholder farmers in Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe acquire more than 16,000 metal silos, which reduce grain losses from storage pests.

Two-wheel tractor seed drill modified for African smallholder maize farmers

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Technology

The modified ‘Gongli Africa +.' Photo: Frédéric Baudron/CIMMYT

The modified ‘Gongli Africa +.’ Photo: Frédéric Baudron/CIMMYT

By Frédéric Baudron/CIMMYT

The Farm Mechanization and Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification (FACASI) project is addressing the decline of farm power in Africa. The project is working with smallholder farmers to deliver small mechanization based on inexpensive, two-wheel tractors and introduce power-saving technologies, such as conservation agriculture.

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