Modernizing NARS crop breeding programs for improved genetic gains in 14 countries

A course designed to modernize National Agricultural Research System (NARS) breeding programs for improving genetic gains of 9 dryland cereals and grain legumes and to strengthen seed systems in 14 African and Asian countries was held recently in Arusha, Tanzania. The training had 46% women participating and was facilitated by resource persons from 7 CGIAR centers; the Integrated Breeding Platform; a public institution and two private seed companies.

“The course is designed to meet the knowledge needs/gaps of ‘Practicing Plant Breeders’ and is crafted to enhance operational efficiencies and rate of genetic gain for a unit cost. We expect NARS partners to adopt modern tools and techniques to be self-reliant in generating and testing improved germplasm,” said Dr Janila Pasupuleti, Leader of the Flagship Program on Variety and Hybrid Development program (FP4), CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes and Dryland Cereals (CRP-GLDC). The training focused on nine crops – chickpea, cowpea, pigeonpea, groundnut, lentil, soybean, sorghum, pearl millet and finger millet.