NARES-CGIAR Global Networks adapt Breeding Program Modernization in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa

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Meeting the goals of food security while addressing the threat of climate change requires a profound transformation in rice-based agriculture systems worldwide. Farmers need rice varieties resilient to climate change with higher productivity and better nutrition. And they need it quickly.

Bolstering the National Agricultural Research and Extension Systems’ (NARES) breeding programs of the developing countries and their alignment with the global breeding programs of CGIAR is essential to deliver increased genetic gains. Huge opportunities are seen in emerging technologies, genetic developments, modern breeding techniques, informatics, and decision support systems. However, integrating these new technologies into NARES breeding programs across all regions, is challenging and time-consuming.

As a step forward, the Breeding Program Modernization was established in an effort to speed-up the modernization of rice breeding programs in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This October, Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)’s Excellence in Breeding (EiB), Accelerated Breeding Initiative (ABI), Breeding Resource Initiative (BRI), and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in collaboration with Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya (IGKV) and the Government of Chhattisgarh, India organized a series of capacity-building events for the stakeholders on Breeding Program Modernization with a theme: “ Partnership-Driven Research for Food Secure Future ”.

The NARES Capacity Building Events held in 14-16 October offered specialized, practical training courses to gain skills in the basics of rice breeding, best community of practices, enabling cutting-edge speed and smart breeding technologies, breeding informatics, grain and nutritional quality and costing tools. NARES scientists from ten sub-Saharan African nations, as well as those from Nepal, Bangladesh, and India, participated in these training courses.

Dr. Sanjay Katiyar, Breeding Program Modernization Lead CGIAR-IRRI, addressed several aspects of Breeding and Operational Excellence, demonstrating transformational changes and significant impacts on the ground with NARES breeding programs of South…

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