Stakeholders adopt procedures for production and supply of disease – free seed in the value chain

On November 30, 2016, the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) conducted a workshop on production and supply of maize seed that is free from Maize Lethal Necrosis in breeder, foundation and certified seed value chain. The objective of the workshop was to discuss and harmonize the Standard Operating Practices (SOPs) to be implemented for production and distribution of MLN free seed.
During the workshop, a follow up to the meeting held on May 12-14, 2015 in Nairobi, participants harmonized the SOPs for MLN Management, listened to presentations on seed production and MLN management and shared experience on MLN management and control in Uganda and Rwanda. During the Nairobi meeting, participants deliberated on the need to support seed companies in the production and distribution of MCMV–free maize seed.
Consequently, AATF and AGRA had jointly been tasked to facilitate/support the commercial seed sector in the maize lethal necrosis (MLN) endemic countries including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia) in producing MCMV-free commercial seed. In this regard, participants were mobilized from Uganda and Rwanda and these included: maize Breeders from public institutions and seed companies, inspectors from Departments of Crop Protection and Crop Inspection and Certification of Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF).
Participants exhaustively discussed and adopted a list of 17 SOPs for MLN management and control and agreed that all maize seed should first be tested for MLN before distribution. Some of these SOPs included: general field sanitation, rogueing maize plants suspected of being affected by MLN, harvesting only non-infested/non symptomatic plants, scouting for viral symptoms and rogueing diseased ones, monitoring and controlling insect vector population, sampling suspect plants for diagnostic testing, drying the seed to moisture content between 12 and 13% before storage, shipping and planting; all of which are aimed at effectively managing MLN within and across the endemic countries.
Report compiled by the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI)

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