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 a summary of Year 2 Achievements of the Project followed by country reports on the Project activities in the 8 project countries namely Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania Uganda, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Dr. Prasanna gave a presentation on the current status of breeding for MLN-tolerant varieties while Dr. Anne Wangai presented on the progress on the BMGF MLN Epidemiology Project activities. The features and functions of the MLN ToolBox was outlined by Dr. Dave Hodson, The CIMMYT GIS Scientist based in CIMMYT Ethiopia. Dr. Prasanna also briefed the participants on the MLN Portal, its features and importance in MLN Knowledge sharing and dissemination.

MLN-free commercial seed production progress report in Year 2 AGRA/AATF was delivered by Dr. Gospel Omanya of AATF on behalf of the 2 institutions implementing this objective.

The days presentations were concluded by Dr. L. M. Suresh (CIMMYT) who gave a presentation on the General methods for reducing seed contamination by MLN viruses.

The whole morning of second day was dedicated to the planning discussions for Year 3 workplan by Objectives. The participants were briefed and reclined in implementing groups to develop their work plans for Y3. The planned activities were presented to the meeting by leaders from the breakout groups. All the plans were discussed and officially adopted in the plenary session.

As a tradition, the annual face to face MLN Community of Practice (CoP) meeting was done in the afternoon of the second and last day of the meeting. Welcome remarks from chair, Mr. Kasaija Banage. Dr. Stephen Mugo(CIMMYT) outlined the meeting’s agenda and gave a brief presentation on the CoP progress and previous years activities. Several issues were discussed including virtual meetings, effective utilization of the MLN CoP Communication Platform MLN topical discussions via google groups. New office bearers were elected to steer the CoP in Year 3.

Meeting closing remarks were given by Dr. Prasanna(CIMMYT) and Dr. Eshetu EIAR. The meeting was officially closed by Mr. Kennedy Onchuru of USAID, Kenya and Eastern Africa.

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