Latest Updates

  • 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 ...

  • MLN Surveillance Team training at Dar Es Salaam

    Tanzania is an important country which also largely depends on Maize as staple food. MLN has had devastating effects on the production of this crop especially in the Lake region districts from the time it was first reported in this country in 2012.  There are challenges in the management of MLN in this area due to the continuous growing patterns of maize (two seasons). Since the inception of the MLN Diagnostics and Management Project in Oct 2015, Tanzania has not had a comprehensive MLN surveillance to determine the status of the disease. As such, the recent training of the MLN surveillance team is a mile stone towards efforts to fight this disease. Tanzania plays a pivotal role in preventing the spread of MLN to the Southern Africa neighbors especially Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia. Due to the Geographical position, Tanzania acts as a bridge in the MLN spread to these important Maize growing ...

  • Screening cycle for deadly MLN virus set to begin in Kenya during April 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 ...

  • Stakeholders reveal significance of seed testing

    IITA - Control measures against pests and diseases dominated discussions at a recent workshop in IITA, Ibadan, held 27-28 September. Stakeholders explored opportunities to interact, exchange ideas, and impart knowledge about major pests and pathogens of maize, risks to maize seed health, and seed-borne pathogens. Read More

  • Second screening cycle for deadly MLN virus set to begin in Kenya

    The maize lethal necrosis (MLN) artificial inoculation screening site in Naivasha, Kenya will begin its second screening cycle of 2017 at the end of October, interested organizations from both the private and public sectors are invited to send maize germplasm for screening. Read more.