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Crowdsourced breeding?

Oluwabunmi Ajilore

 

Agriculture is an engine of development in Africa. The Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) wants to take part in this effort by helping plant scientists in using technology in their breeding programmes to boost agriculture yields and quality thanks to better seeds.

It’s core product, the IBP Breeding Management System (BMS), is a comprehensive suite of mutually compatible software applications that work together to help breeders and researchers = collect, store and analyse their research data, in order to save time and money in the development of agricultural productivity.

The BMS manages all breeding activities from planting to harvesting, including germplasm lists, crosses, nurseries, seed storage and keeping genealogy records season after season. This system mainly analyses phenotypic datasets but also provides experimental applications for genotypic data management to support the use of molecular markers and genetic diversity. The BMS and more online resources are available for download on the IBP website.

Integrated breeding decisions, where crosses are designed by combining phenotypic selection with marker technology, are proving very important in improving our global agriculture production, and thus help the livelihood of individuals. The BMS accelerates the production of improved varieties, enabling the adoption of new strategies to maximize breeding efficiency and improve quality.

Like many people interested in the improvement of rural livelihoods, the IBP tries to tackle some of the challenges of food security by providing African scientists with the tools they need to serve smallholder farmers with improved varieties of various crops, for a sustainable agricultural development across the region.

Seventy percent of Africans dedicate their lives to farming; that motivates many people to promote and invest in agriculture for sustaining Africans’ development. This will best be achieved through disseminating purposeful technology, setting adequate policies, and strengthening the agribusiness value chain.

Blogpost by Samuel Rugero, sarugero3(at)gmail.com, #AASW7 social reporter.
This post represents the author’s views only.
Picture courtesy Neil Palmer (CIAT)

Copyright © 2016, CTA. Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Cooperation

CTA is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.