Latest Updates

  • Training on MLN Rapid Diagnostic Kits and MLN-Free Seed Production in Kenya

    By Dr. Suresh,L.M., Samuel Angwenyi and Francis Mwatuni : Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) disease is among the myriad of regional and transboundary threats that continue to render havoc to the integrity of food security in Eastern Africa region since its first detection in 2011 in Kenya. The Eastern African region, especially Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzanian remain vulnerable to the disease, which calls for strengthening capacity for its management among key stakeholders including maize seed sector players. Following efforts by AATF, AGRA, CIMMYT and other stakeholders in the seed industry to develop harmonized MLN Free Seed Production SOPs in 2016, seed companies have always been encouraged to adhere to the SOPs to curb the losses caused by MLN disease.  After several follow-up and backstopping missions between 2016, 2017 and 2018 on SOP implementation by seed companies and seed outgrowers in respective countries (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Rwanda), certain practices were identified which ...

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

  • MLN Community of Practice (CoP) Virtual meeting 5th July 2018

    By Francis Mwatuni and Dr. Suresh,L.M.  : The MLN community of Practice is an initiative under the USAID – CIMMYT MLN Diagnostics and Management Project organizes quarterly virtual meetings with one face to face meeting during the Annual Review and Planning meeting. The regular CoP meetings keep the members updated on the various activities being undertaken by various stakeholders around the globe in fighting MLN in SSA. This is the second virtual meeting this year and was also conducted via WebEx as the previous one. The meeting was chaired by the CoP Chairman, Mr. Kasaija Banage (Seedco Rwanda). The virtual meetings provide an opportunity for all stakeholders in the management of MLN to exchange ideas especially on the current situation of the disease in endemic countries and the current mitigation measures being implemented. Several issues were discussed in this meeting which included recap on MLN CoP virtual meeting held on 22/02/2018 followed ...

  • Workshop on MLN Surveillance and Diagnostics using modern Tools – Rwanda MLN Surveillance Team

    By Dr. Suresh,L.M. / Francis Mwatuni : Rwanda is one of the MLN endemic countries in eastern Africa and is also one of the countries covered in the CIMMYT-USAID MLN Diagnostics and Management project. One of the key component activities under the project is to effectively carry out surveillance for the disease using the open data kit tool to map out the prevalence and incidences of the disease in all the participating countries. The National Plant Protection Organizations have this responsibility in all the project countries. However, the Rwanda Agricultural Board(RAB) under the guidance of the Rwanda MLN Task force organized a Training on Diagnostics and surveillance on 12th June 2018 at Musanze. A total of 39 participants attended the training. The training targeted officers form the extension officers, researchers, seed certification officers and seed production officers form several seed companies in the country. The training as facilitated by CIMMYT staff who took ...

  • 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 ...