Latest Updates

  • East African Community (EAC) meeting on Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN), 22nd – 24th May 2018

    Francis Mwatuni and Dr. Suresh,L.M. : EAC Secretariat in collaboration with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) convened a regional stakeholders’ forum on MLN on 22nd to 24th May 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya. Group Photo of the participants of the EAC-CIMMYT MLN Meeting The objectives of the meeting were to: Appraise EAC Partner States and other regional stakeholders on the current state of MLN in the region and the management practices in place; Share knowledge and information on current activities including capacity building, awareness creation, technologies developed or under development and deployed to manage MLN; Introduce EAC Partner States to SOPs and Protocols developed to manage MLN and discuss the feasibility of recognizing and adopting the same by EAC Policy Organs; Identify areas that require enhanced coordination and complementarity among EAC Partner States in the management of MLN; Share the draft EAC regional MLN management plan and obtain feedback from ...

  • Second International Phytosanitary conference, KEPHIS Headquarters, Karen, Nairobi, Kenya.

    Dr. Suresh,L.M. and Francis Mwatuni:  The Government of Kenya, USAID (Feed the Future Program), KEPHIS and COPE have organized the 2nd Phytosanitary Conference from 4th to 8th June 2018, at KEPHIS Headquarters, Nairobi, Kenya. The theme of the conference is “Phytosanitary Systems for Safe Trade and food Security”. The conference provided opportunities to discuss phytosanitary systems used in Pest Surveillance, Import Control and Quarantine Regulations, support to industry, Technologies and Innovation, Food safety issues and Cross-cutting issues. Welcoming Remarks to the conference was done by; Dr Esther Kimani, Managing Director, KEPHIS Ann Muigai, Director, KEPHIS Board of Directors Tina Dooley – Jones, Mission Director, Kenya and Eastern Africa, USAID Tuituek – MP, member of the Parliamentary committee on Agriculture. The 2nd Phytosanitary conference was officially opened by H.E. Hon. Jackson Mandago, Governor, Uasin Gishu County, Kenya. The conference was attended by 110 participants in the first day with delegates from 14 countries in ...

  • Annual Review and planning meeting, USAID MLN Diagnostics and Management Project Meeting - Addis, Ethiopia

    Francis Mwatuni and Dr. Suresh, L.M. : The Annual Review and planning meeting Year 2, 2016/2017 for the USAID MLN Diagnostics and Management Project was held on November 16th - 17th, 2017 at Capital Hill Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A total of 46 participants attended the meting from 22 different institutions. Introductory and welcome remarks were given by Dr. B.M. Prasanna, The Director, Global Maize Program (GMP) – CIMMYT and the Project Leader for the project. He also outlined the scope of the meeting. Mr. Kennedy Onchuru who is the Regional SPS Policy Coordinator from USAID and the project officer attached to this project warmly welcomed the participants to the meeting. He was accompanied by a colleague from USAID who also gave his brief remarks. The meeting was officially opened by Dr. Derso Eshetu, The director of Crops Research in the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR). The Project Manager, Francis Mwatuni gave ...

  • Screening cycle for deadly MLN virus set to begin in Kenya during July 2018

    The maize lethal necrosis (MLN) artificial inoculation screening site in Naivasha, Kenya will begin its phenotyping (screening/ indexing) cycle of 2018 at the begining of January, 2018 and in other four intervals, interested organizations from both the private and public sectors are invited to send maize germplasm for screening. In 2013, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) jointly established the MLN screening facility at the KALRO Naivasha research station in Kenya’s Rift Valley with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture. MLN was first discovered in Kenya in 2011 and quickly spread to other parts of eastern Africa; the disease causes premature plant death and unfilled, poorly formed maize cobs, and can lead to up to 100 percent yield loss in farmers’ fields. CIMMYT and partners are dedicated to stopping the spread of this deadly maize disease by effectively managing the risk of ...

  • UC Davis African Plant Breeding Academy (PBA) Class III completes session 2 in Nairobi, Kenya

    The UC Davis African PBA’s Class III completed this fall Session 2 of its 6-week program in Nairobi, Kenya. An initiative of the African Orphan Crop Consortium, the program is organized in collaboration with the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and the African Union New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Agency, and sponsored by Mars Incorporated and AGRA. The third class of the UC Davis African Plant Breeding Academy consists of 33 breeders, half of whom are women, representing 16 African nations. This session provided in-depth training on phenotyping, multiple trait selection, marker-assisted breeding applications, and advanced experimental designs. During this recent session, the class visited the CIMMYT MLN Screening Facility in Naivasha (photo at right) to see first-hand the procedures involved in evaluating germplasm for resistance to Maize Lethal Necrosis, a disease threat to East Africa that has been met with swift action by the CIMMYT Global Maize Team in the form of resistant maize hybrids.  Dr. Suresh,L.M, and ...

  • Capacity Building : Seed testing training for various National Plant protection officers in Eastern and Southern African countries:

    by L.M. Suresh  and Mwatuni Francis/ February 5, 2018 ; Testing for MLN viruses in seed is of paramount importance in minimizing the spread of the disease and reducing its incidence in MLN endemic regions. Accurate, affordable diagnosis of MLN viruses in seed maize contributes to the following: Limiting introduction and spread of MLN in otherwise MLN non-endemic regions/countries. Provides a measure for producing MLN free seed by country Seed certification agencies. Testing is also important in surveillance programs for ascertaining the MLN status in commercial seed available on markets. The survey on the institutional capacity to test for MLN viruses in seed revealed that many MLN endemic countries have challenges in testing for MLN viruses in seed. It is in this perspective that CIMMYT through the MLN Diagnostics and Management Project funded by USAID, organized two Training workshops, one in Nairobi - ICRAF Campus on 22nd – 23rd Aug 2017 for the Eastern ...