Posts Tagged ‘seed’

Seed Summit Aims to Improve Delivery of High-Yielding Varieties to Farmers in Eastern India

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Asia

By Anuradha Dhar

Strategies to make improved seed varieties more appealing and available to India’s farmers were the focus of the Seed Summit for Enhancing the Seed Supply Chain in Eastern India, held 14-15 May in Patna, Bihar. The summit was organized by the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development Feed the Future initiative and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

More than 60 seed experts from the government, research institutions and the private sector identified the challenges in the seed value chain and discussed actionable solutions that will improve the delivery of improved wheat and rice varieties to farmers in eastern India.

Afriseed Partnership Brings Hybrid Seeds to Small Farms in Zambia

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa

By Florence Sipalla/CIMMYT

Seed companies play an important role in providing smallholder farmers access to improved seed.

CIMMYT’s breeding and seed systems teams have been supporting Afriseed – a brand produced under the flagship of Stewards Globe Limited – to build its product offering and give farmers more options. The company has recently added high-yielding, drought-tolerant maize hybrids (GV635 and GV638) to its portfolio, which includes open-pollinated varieties (OPVs) and legumes such as beans, cowpeas, groundnuts and soybeans. Stewards Globe has received technical assistance through the CIMMYT-led Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) and Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Systems for the Eastern Province of Zambia (SIMLEZA) projects.

MasAgro Shows Maize Seed Advances to Mexico Seed Sector

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Conservation Agriculture, MasAgro, México

By Alberto Chassaigne/CIMMYT

Representatives of Mexico’s national seed sector attended two MasAgro maize events on 3-4 April. First, in Puerto Vallarta, more than 50 representatives of national seed companies interacted with CIMMYT scientists and leaders to learn about conventional breeding and the application of advanced technology such as doubled haploid technology and selection for yield, drought tolerance, heat, low nitrogen and disease tolerance.

Photo of technology

Seed producers learn about new technology at a MasAgro event. Photo: Alberto Chassaigne/CIMMYT

Speakers also presented the results of the Collaborative Networks 2013 evaluation and assessed new hybrids. Next, participants went to a field station in El Cantón, where they observed plots featuring improved hybrids MasAgro offers for the highlands, tropics and subtropics. The four-hour tour allowed participants to see the performance of the hybrids while learning about best practices. They also visited a hybrid seed production field where they could see the effective application of recommendations given by CIMMYT seed specialists. The activities allowed for the exchange of knowledge between members of the collaborative network.

 

Zambia Maize Technicians Learn About New Breeding Tools

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Africa, Maize

By Peter Setimela/CIMMYT

Regular training sessions are a key component of capacity building for partners CIMMYT works with in breeding and seed systems. On 24-27 March, 28 maize technicians, including 10 women, participated in a week-long training program at the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC) in Lusaka, Zambia. A joint seed systems, breeding and seed business development team from the CIMMYT-Southern Africa Regional Office in Harare and staff from the Zambia Research Institute (ZARI) conducted the training.

CIMMYT breeder Cosmos Magorokosho explains pollination to participants at the Zambian Agricultural Research Institute in Lusaka. Photo: Peter Setimela

CIMMYT breeder Cosmos Magorokosho explains pollination to participants at the Zambian Agricultural Research Institute in Lusaka. Photo: Peter Setimela

The participants were drawn from selected seed companies and various government units in the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). The course was supported by two CIMMYT projects, Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) and Sustainable Intensification of Maize- Legume Systems for the Eastern Province of Zambia (SIMLEZA), in collaboration with ZARI. The training gave the participants insights into key processes in germplasm development using conventional and molecular tools, variety testing and release, seed production and seed business development. Emphasis was given to new phenotyping tools, the importance of trial uniformity and good agronomic management. Course organizers include Kambamba Mwansa, Zambian maize coordinator, and Franscico Miti from ZARI, the MoA and CIMMYT’s Peter Setimela, Cosmos Magorokosho, Kennedy Lweya, Zaman-Allah Mainassara and Obert Randi.

Organization Takes Technology to Farmers in India

Written by Corporate Communications on . Posted in Asia, collaborative projects

By Meenakshi Singh, Raj Kumar Jat and Raj Gupta/CIMMYT

A recent field day in Bihar, India, showed farmers have confidence in conservation agriculture and don’t need agri-input subsidies but rather easy access to quality inputs and fair compensation for their produce.

During a field day on 12 March, about 100 farmers shared their experiences regarding zero tillage and its benefits and travelled through seven villages to see the performance of zero-till crops. The non-governmental organization (NGO) GUVVS is developing alternate options for rural improvement and has been working in several areas of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal since 2011. India’s Eastern Gangetic Plains are characterized by fragmented land holdings and resource-poor farmers who consistently face drought or floods. These conditions and the suboptimal crop management practices make agriculture risky.

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.

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