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Zambia maize technicians learn about new breeding tools

By Peter Setimela/CIMMYT

Regular training sessions are a key component of capacity building for partners CIMMYT works with in breeding and seed systems. On 24-27 March, 28 maize technicians, including 10 women, participated in a week-long training program at the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC) in Lusaka, Zambia. A joint seed systems, breeding and seed business development team from the CIMMYT-Southern Africa Regional Office in Harare and staff from the Zambia Research Institute (ZARI) conducted the training.

CIMMYT breeder Cosmos Magorokosho explains pollination to participants at the Zambian Agricultural Research Institute in Lusaka. Photo: Peter Setimela

The participants were drawn from selected seed companies and various government units in the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). The course was supported by two CIMMYT projects, Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) and Sustainable Intensification of Maize- Legume Systems for the Eastern Province of Zambia (SIMLEZA), in collaboration with ZARI. The training gave the participants insights into key processes in germplasm development using conventional and molecular tools, variety testing and release, seed production and seed business development. Emphasis was given to new phenotyping tools, the importance of trial uniformity and good agronomic management. Course organizers include Kambamba Mwansa, Zambian maize coordinator, and Franscico Miti from ZARI, the MoA and CIMMYT’s Peter Setimela, Cosmos Magorokosho, Kennedy Lweya, Zaman-Allah Mainassara and Obert Randi.