Arusha Workshop

Seed degeneration of roots, tubers and bananas

seed degeneration arusha workshop

In early February, scientists and researchers working in the area of seed degeneration traveled from across the globe to Arusha, Tanzania for a scientific review and planning workshop. Coming from as far away as China and Columbia, and as near as Dar-es-Salaam, and representing 4 CG institutions (Bioversity, CIAT, CIP, IITA) as well as others, the participants spent 3 and a half days sharing background information related to their crop and technical expertise as well as designing interdependent research for the next biennium as part of the RTB CRP. Using crops as the organizing element, working groups successfully designed research studies to inform the project goal of understanding the dynamics of seed degeneration across the target crops and developing tools for the farmer to increase crop yield. Each working group developed their initial idea which they presented to the workshop for questions, feedback and linkages. Then, they refined their designs to meet the resource and budget standards for a final design which will inform the final project document. Some of them were so engrossed in the process they worked passed closing time or through tea.

There was also lively discussions between the participants and the model development team on the type of data which could be derived from the various research projects and the best approach to capture relevant data within the resources constraints. By the final day, the model for the farmer decision support system had moved from an idea to beginning to take shape, with more development during the coming months. Another lively discussion was related to deep sequencing and the work being done on sweet potato viromes.

Overall the workshop was a success, producing a final research project, enhancing collaboration across CG institutions and promoting interdependent science. Several times the phrase, “I did not know that…..” or “How interesting…..” was heard following the sharing among colleagues of an experience with a different geographic region or crop. The participants also shared their personal research projects, both ongoing and planned. Finally, the workshop was also an excellent opportunity for the project team members to get to know each other better and bond, many thanks to our local hosts from IITA.

Workshop Objectives

Presentations and background