All news and blogs

EiB Product Manager Tawanda Mashonganyika unites crop breeders and market experts for more impactful varieties

| Sam Storr | 11/4/2019

The low rate at which farmers adopt improved varieties is one of the biggest obstacles to overcoming food insecurity. The average maize variety grown by farmers in sub-Saharan Africa is 15 years old, even though maize breeders have been releasing more than 50 new varieties every year.When it comes to climate change, for...

Groundnut breeders in Malawi learn how to link product profiles and genotyping for faster variety turnover

| Sam Storr | 15/3/2019

A rich source of protein, oils and other nutrients that requires few inputs to produce, groundnut is considered both an important contributor to household nutrition and a cash crop. To accelerate the development and adoption of improved varieties, a workshop on the use of product profiles low-cost genotyping was held for...

Applying stage-gates to better manage public breeding programs

How to | Sam Storr | 12/2/2019

Video: George Kotch, EiB product design and management lead, explains stage gates in five minutes. High-performing breeding programs not only have a strong idea of customer needs, they also exercise full control of the breeding pipeline to ensure that the right products are delivered and...

Product profiles are a blueprint for breeding with impact

How to | Sam Storr | 12/12/2018

The impact of breeding on poverty alleviation in the developing world has been limited by low rates of adoption in farmers’ fields. With the number of people going hungry in the world again on the rise we must recommit to science for impact.Product Profiles were designed by breeders for breeders as a means to...

Breeders find strength in diversity at EiB contributor meeting

| Sam Storr | 3/12/2018

Around 115 members of the CGIAR breeding community, plus others representing national programs, universities, funders and the private sector, met for a three-day discussion of how to co-develop the next generation of advanced breeding programs that will improve the rate at which resource-poor farmers are able to adopt improved varieties that meet their needs.Photo: Attendees at the meeting (Sam...

Continuous improvement for breeding with impact

How to | Sam Storr | 30/10/2018

We all feel that we improve as time goes on. Lessons are learned, new tools incorporated, and different initiatives occur here and there. But even with hard work and dedication this is not enough to create the step changes in variety turnover and genetic gain increases we want to see in farmers' fields.Continuous improvement is the...

Genotyping workshop for transformative rice breeding in Bangladesh

| Sam Storr | 10/10/2018

During 17-21 September, 22 members of the transformative rice breeding project at the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) received training in high-throughput genotypic selection and analysis as part of the collaboration between EiB and the High-Throughput Genotyping Project (HTGP).Photo: Dr. Khandakar Iftekharuddaula, Dr. Sharmistha Ghosal, Ms. Milcah Kigoni and Mr....

IRRI gathers researchers to advance breeding programs around the world

| Sam Storr | 28/9/2018

Last August, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) hosted more than 40 participants from public sector breeding programs across ten countries for the Joint Breeders’ Training and Workshop, in collaboration with EiB and the Genomic Open-Source Breeding Informatics Initiative (GOBii).The activity was an opportunity for breeders and informaticians to discuss, evaluate, and enable...

CGIAR leaders meet on future of breeding program improvement

| Sam Storr | 13/9/2018

A meeting of scientific leaders in the CGIAR agreed that a cultural change is the way forward to drive breeding technology adoption, higher rates of genetic gain and more effective replacement of outdated crop varieties in the developing world.Greater accountability, adoption of transparent metrics, and a clearer division of breeding program processes will form a part of a culture of continuous improvement...

New business model puts high-tech genotyping to work for smallholder farmers

| Sam Storr | 20/8/2018

By Milcah Kigoni and Sam StorrThe ability to accurately and cheaply read the plant genome has made it possible to greatly speed up the creation of improved crops. Today, breeding teams developing varieties for smallholder farmers are showing that this technology will no longer be limited to large-scale agriculture, supported by an innovative new business model.The High-...