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Technology training for managing maize information

14A training workshop on the integrated International Maize Information System (IMIS)-Fieldbook platform was held for scientists, technicians, and research assistants in Nairobi, Kenya, on 05-06 August 2010. Similar training was held in Zimbabwe on 02-04 August, and will soon be given in Ethiopia. Héctor Sánchez, crop information specialist based at CIMMYT-Mexico, conducted the course, which was attended by participants from CIMMYT and two invited representatives from the Western Seed Company, a Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) Project partner.

The training included presentations on the basic use of IMIS and IMISFieldbook. The latter has all the utilities of Fieldbook software, as well as additional functions for management of genealogy, inventory, and data. Hands-on training sessions covered topics such as installing the software, generating inventories and analyses, seed preparation for trials and nurseries, adding information to the IMIS database, and managing pedigrees using Fieldbook.

“We can now code our germplasm numerically, and upload it into a local database, which can then be exported to MaizeFinder,” said Silvano Assanga, one of the participants. MaizeFinder is a program, accessible on the internet, where information on the germplasm available at CIMMYT and performance data can be obtained. “With this software, it will now be easy to trace the parentage of a pedigree by generating a genealogy tree to see how the material was developed,” Assanga said.

The software is available at http://dtma.cimmyt.org/index.php/software.