By Alexey Morgounov/CIMMYT
A grant provided by the CGIAR Research Program on Wheat (CRP WHEAT) has helped improve seed health facilities in Turkey.
The grant benefited the International Winter Wheat Improvement Program (IWWIP), a cooperative program between the Turkish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, CIMMYT and ICARDA. IWWIP develops germplasm for Central and West Asia and facilitates the development and spread of global winter wheat germplasm and related knowledge. IWWIP focuses on wheat mega-environments that are home to about 20 million wheat-dependent poor who make less than US$ 2 a day.
IWWIP operates within the framework of Turkish public research institutes, including the Bahri Dagdas International Agriculture Research Institute. Annually, tens of thousands of envelopes containing improved germplasm are prepared for distribution to IWWIP partners globally. Seed sent from Turkey must meet the highest seed health requirements.
With this in mind, the Bahri Dagdas institute applied for a collaboration grant from CRP WHEAT in 2012 to upgrade its seed health facilities; an effort that could not be funded from the regular IWWIP budget. The grant targeted improvement of infrastructure and facilities as well as staff training. For example, staff member Gul Imriz attended an advanced pathology course at CIMMYT-Mexico and a training event on seed health.
By the start of the 2014 season, the new facility will be fully equipped and ready to use for seed cleaning, washing and treatment. IWWIP acknowledges the contributions of Fatih Ozdemir, director of the Bahri Dagdas International Agriculture Research Institute; Mesut Keser, ICARDA representative in Turkey; Monica Mezzalama, head of CIMMYT’s Seed Health Unit; and Victor Kommerell, CRP WHEAT program manager.