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Empowering maize technicians in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe-techniciansA training course was held at the Agricultural Research Trust (ART), in Harare, Zimbabwe during 12-15 March 2012. Organized by CIMMYT-Zimbabwe, the course aimed to improve the skills and knowledge of maize technicians regarding implementing on-station and on-farm trials, seed production, and the use of secondary traits in selecting superior genotypes under low N and drought trials.

Participants represented five Zimbabwean seed companies and national agricultural research systems in Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and Swaziland, and were sponsored by CIMMYT’s New Seed Initiative for Maize in Southern Africa (NSIMA) and Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) projects, and FAO-Swaziland. Training included practical sessions as well as theoretical lectures on seed production and breeding for biotic and abiotic stresses. Participant Lazarus Karori from Progene Seeds said: “I have never attended a similar training before, so it was very useful. I learnt how to implement field trials as well principles of hybrid seed production.”

Many thanks to the course organizers and resource personnel: Charles Mutimaamba, Maize Coordinator, Department of Agricultural Research and Special Services in Zimbabwe, and CIMMYT’s Peter Setimela, Cosmos Magorokosho, Amsal Tarekegne, John MacRobert, Jill Cairns, Sebastian Mawere, Pamela Chirwa, and Oswell Ndoro.