Facilities Upgrade and Mechanization Improvement project update May 2024

Crops to End Hunger Project Update: Facilities Upgrade and Mechanization Improvement

  • Date
  • Time
    11:00 am > 12:30 am UTC-11:00

Project update – May 2024

Date: Thursday, May 30, 2024
Time: 90 minutes, 7am-8:30am Mexico time, 4pm-5:30pm EAT
To join: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87392109262
For: CtEH funders, breeders, breeding stations managers and staff, Accelerated Breeding and Breeding Resources Initiatives, NARES, Project team…


About the webinar

The low utilization of mechanization within CGIAR-NARES breeding programs in Africa is limiting their effectiveness and potential genetic gains. Manual management can also affect the quality of trialling and nursery data. 

Facility Upgrade and Mechanization Improvement, a fifteen-million-dollar project part of Crops to End Hunger, aims to procure advanced equipment, upgrade infrastructures and establish sustainable service fees at key breeding research stations in Africa. The goal is to transform them into multi-crop hubs delivering high-quality data and supporting breeding programs across the continent. 

Facility Upgrade… project team, along with representatives from various Centers and partner Institutes, will be providing a comprehensive update on the current status of the project. This session will enable participants to gain insights into: 

  • The latest developments and achievements of the project; 
  • How the project is supporting breeding networks and its impact; 
  • Perspectives from beneficiaries, with speakers highlighting the initiative’s relevance, challenges and avenues for improvement; 
  • An opportunity for participants to provide feedback to the project team during a Q&A session. 

Crops to End Hunger (CtEH) is a CGIAR initiative funded by Germany, to accelerate and modernise the development, delivery and wide scale use of a steady stream of new crop varieties.  

Topic  Duration  Speaker(s) 
Introduction and project update  25 minutes 
  • Breeding and Research Services – Global Shared Services team  
How does the project relate to breeding networks?  10 minutes 
  • Dragan Milic, Accelerated Breeding – Transform work Package 
Panel discussion about Facilities Upgrade…: What has been achieved so far and what can be improved? Feedback from beneficiaries   40 minutes 
  • Aparna Das, Senior Technical Program Manager for the Global Maize Program in CIMMYT. (Moderator) Accomplished geneticist and plant breeder, who has worked closely with Breeding and Research Services on various projects for infrastructure upgrade in research stations across Sub Saharan Africa, leading to significant increase in breeding operation efficiencies. 
  • Sridhar Bhavani, CIMMYT Wheat Improvement Lead for Africa. Overseeing breeding pipeline and network for SSA, driving efforts to enhance wheat varieties and bolster regional food security. Implementing accelerated breeding techniques with KARLO, Kenya. CIMMYT’s rust research program lead and stem rust platform coordinator. 
  • Scovia Adikini, Senior Research Officer (plant breeder / geneticist), Program Leader, Dryland Cereals Research Program, National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO), National Semi Arid Resources Research Institute (NaSARRI). 
  • Alick Mulenga, Head of Farm Management, IITA. Agronomist with over 25 years work experience in agricultural research. Has held various positions in the agricultural industry, including working at DuPont Canada and Bayer Crop Sciences as a Research and Health Canada. Prior to joining IITA, he worked for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) as a Co-ordinating Agronomist.
Q&A  15 minutes   


Project update – July 2023

Date: Tuesday, July 26, 2023

Time: 11 a.m. UTC (5AM Mexico City, 2PM Nairobi/EAT). 90 minutes

For: CtEH funders, breeding leaders, Accelerated Breeding and Breeding Resources Initiatives, NARES, Project team and other CtEH project leaders

Watch the recording: 

Crops to End Hunger (CtEH) is a CGIAR initiative to accelerate and modernise the development, delivery and wide scale use of a steady stream of new crop varieties

There is evidence that the rate of adoption of new CGIAR’s varieties has slowed. CtEH supports the acceleration of breeding cycles and application of modern breeding methods needed for both productivity gains and climate change adaptation.

About the webinar

The objective of this webinar is to help participants: 

  • Understand the progress of this CtEH project so far;
  • Grasp the timeline and when equipment and infrastructure will be available at different centers/stations to better plan for use;
  • Identify collaboration areas where participants may support the project team.

Perspectives of beneficiaries will be heard, highlighting the relevance of the initiative. Participants will also be able to provide feedback to the project team, via a Q&A. 

Topic Duration Speaker(s)
Introduction and Project Background 15 minutes
  • Gustavo Teixeira – Project Lead
CtEH investment impact: Partners Perspective 40 minutes
  • Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KARLO):
    Godwin K. Macharia, PhD – Centre Director & Small Cereals Breeder
    Food Crops Research Centre – Njoro
  • Crop Research Institute (CRI/CSIR):
    Dr. Maxwell Darko Asante – Deputy Director
  • AfricaRice:
    Dr. Nana Kofi Amoah – Rice Breeder
  • International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
    Dr. Alick Mulenga – Head of Farm Management
Project update 20 minutes
  • Amer Najm, West and Central Africa – Breeding Operation Support
  • Vinicius da Rocha, East and South Africa – Breeding Operation SupportDie
  • Diego Castanon, Project Manager
Q&A 15 minutes
We extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the generous supporters of the Crops to End Hunger initiative, with special recognition to GIZ.