Rwanda MLN Surveillance team training on MLN field and seed surveillance using appropriate surveillance and diagnostics tools, 24th May 2019 at Musanze Rwanda

Francis Mwatuni (CIMMYT) and Dr. SURESH,L.M. (CIMMYT) : The National Plant Protection Organization of Rwanda in the Rwanda Agricultural Board(RAB) under the guidance of the Rwanda MLN Task force organized a second Training on Diagnostics and surveillance on 24th May 2019 at Musanze. The first training was done in the same venue on 12th June of 2018.

A total of 42 participants attended the training of which 15 were females while 27 were males. These trainees were extension officers, researchers, seed certification officers and seed production officers form several seed companies in the Rwanda.

Training content included;

  1. Use of the ODK MLN Survey tool and the digital surveillance protocol
  2. Field surveys and sampling techniques
  3. Sample preparation and testing using the MCMV immunostrips
  4. Storage of samples and shipment for confirmatory lab tests

Figure 1. Group photo of the trainees, Musanze Rwanda

This training equipped the trainees with knowledge and skills to effectively conduct MLN surveillance in the country for the year 2018. It was envisaged that quality data will be available from the surveillance that will inform stakeholders on the current MLN situation in Rwanda.

In-field demo was done on filling the survey form, collecting field samples (both leaves and seed), using Agristrips, recording GIS coordinates, using tablets to input data, and storing/submitting seed and leaf samples for further shipment/analysis. This was carried out in the afternoon in the field where the practical surveillance and diagnostics using immunostrips showed the presence of MLN in the demonstration maize fields.

Figure 2. Various training sessions in Musanze, Rwanda