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CIMMYT experts lead data training course in Peru

19Two CIMMYT-Mexico department heads, along with Mateo Vargas from Mexico’s Chapingo Autonomous University, traveled to Peru this July to lead a five-day training course on field data analysis, with an emphasis on maize. The course, coordinated by Luis Narro of CIMMYT-Colombia, ran from 19-23 July 2010 at the campus of Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (UNALM), in Lima, Peru.

Twenty-three fellow scientists and researchers (six were women) attended the course, which received Peruvian government funding specifically earmarked for CGIAR initiatives. Other sponsors included the university; the National Institute of Agricultural Innovation (INIA, part of the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture); CIMMYT; and the institutions of attendees (six Peruvian universities, one Colombian university, and the International Potato Center, CIP).

CIMMYT’s José Crossa (head of Biometrics & Statistics), along with Vargas, filled two of the days with information on theory, analysis, and interpretation of experiment data (including full blocks at random and incomplete blocks); and stability analysis (regression models, AMMI, SREG, PLS, hereditability, and genetic correlations). Statistical analysis software (SAS) was used to analyze all the information.

Later in the week, Kai Sonder (head of the Geographic Information Systems Unit, GIS, part of the Socioeconomics Program) switched gears slightly and focused the following three days on GIS issues. He used local examples and data to show how to apply GIS to agricultural research, how to generate geo-referenced data with GPS in the field, and how to create maps and spatial data using the freeware applications DivaGIS and Geoda. All the participants received a DVD with spatial data and materials and programs used in the workshop. Complementing the workshop, Crossa also presented a conference on how to use phenotypic and genotypic data from multi-location trials to increase the genetic gain of selections. Held in UNALM’s auditorium for their postgraduate program, 50 people attended, including workshop participants, UNALM professors, and researchers from INIA and CIP.

The attendees thanked CIMMYT for organizing the event and others of its caliber, and highlighted the excellent quality of the course and the expertise of the workshop leaders. CIMMYT-Colombia thanks its CIMMYT-Mexico colleagues for their collaboration.