More impactful crop varieties can be designed using gender-responsive tools and data that reveal the needs of different users in the value chain, including women farmers, consumers and food processors.
Plant breeders produce new varieties for their customers: farmers. To predict what kinds of new varieties are likely to offer significant benefits to farmers, breeders may turn to their customers to evaluate which characteristics might make a new variety more acceptable.
A pilot study to validate tools that will help breeders to pay more attention to gender is about to be launched with two breeding programs in Nigeria and Kenya.
As scientists and professionals, our instinct is to calculate and map out the way ahead, but science and technology is only the tip of the iceberg; lasting impact will come by first changing our behaviors, not the other way around.
In March 2019, EiB surveyed its members to identify the models of equipment currently used to digitize breeding operations.
These include package printers, label printers, barcode readers, electronic data collectors and seed counters that can be used to speed up, standardize and introduce efficiency savings into breeding program operations.
The survey results will be used to guide the outreach agenda of EiB module leaders, while the makes and models of equipment preferred by EiB users are available for reference on the EiB Toolbox.
Meat and dairy products are central to the Latin American diet, and livestock is a source of income for over 600 million people living on less than US $1 per day around the world. Historically, a lack of quality forage crops has restricted production and increased the environmental impact of livestock farming, with poor-quality grazing areas being created through deforestation.
In 2019, all CGIAR Centers are focused on taking breeding program impact to the next level.
CGIAR and public sector experts met at the International Potato Center (CIP, Peru) o evaluate genomics resource needs and demonstrate new tools and methods for polyploid crop breeding.
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.