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Long-term wheat training course rated success

June 2, 2010

1A three-month training course on wheat improvement and pathology recently concluded in Mexico. Sixteen participants from eight countries (India, Paraguay, Brazil, Ethiopia, Iran, Bangladesh, Turkey, and Afghanistan) learned about wheat breeding, pathology and quality aspects, molecular techniques, applied statistics, and participated in hands-on field work such as selections, crossing, and disease screening at the Ciudad Obregon research station. About 30% of the time was dedicated to lectures and seminars, given by over 40 CIMMYT scientists and invited presenters.

According to a survey given at the end of the course, the majority of participants said the course covered a considerate amount of new information and had a satisfactory variety of topics as well as being balanced between theory and practical exercises. They unanimously agreed they would recommend this course to others, and said that they had confidence in their abilities to share what they had learned with peers back home.

The primary objective of this course was to enhance participants’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to design and run sustainable modern wheat improvement programs. Most of the participants said that the course was successful in meeting this and other objectives.

Thanks to program coordinators Petr Kosina, knowledge, information, and training manager, and Rey Villareal, adjunct professor of plant breeding and international agriculture at Cornell University. Sponsors included CIMMYT, CSISA (Cereal System Initiative for South Asia), DRRW (the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat Project), EMBRAPA, and the governments of Iran, Paraguay, and Turkey.