The Generation Challenge Programme (GCP) is a broad network of partners from developing- and developed-country research programmes, collectively working at both the national and international levels to increase crop productivity, particularly in drought-prone farmlands. GCP partners draw on plant diversity, and on existing and new technologies, to develop and improve crops with desired traits including drought tolerance, disease resistance and higher productivity. Through its wide network of partners and collaborators, GCP links basic science with applied research at both the global and regional levels.
The Integrated Breeding Platform Project (IBP), a flagship initiative coordinated by GCP and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is envisioned to create a sustainable web-based, user-friendly, one-stop shop for information, informatics tools and related services to design and conduct molecular breeding programs.
To help overcome technical and human resource limitations hampering modern breeding in developing countries, capacity development is an integral part of the project. As part of this capacity building effort, IBP is stimulating the development of crop- and discipline-based communities of practice that will promote application of molecular breeding techniques in applied breeding programmes, enhance data and germplasm sharing, and generally advance modern breeding capacity by linking scientists working in CGIAR Centres, other advanced research institutes and developing-country programmes.
The GCP/IBP cassava workshop is scheduled to take place on the 23rd to 24th of June 2012, immediately following the 2nd Scientific Conference of the Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century (GCP21-II), and will be held at the same venue – the Speke Resort and Conference Centre, Kampala, Uganda. The workshop is targeted at potential users of the Integrated Breeding Platform, particularly those that are not currently part of ongoing GCP research initiatives.
The workshop is by invitation only, for breeders that will have attended GCP21-II. Those interested should apply to Ndeye Ndack Diop, providing a short CV and explaining their motivation for wanting to attend. Those selected will receive a formal invitation to attend. Although focusing on African breeders, breeders from Latin America and Asia are also welcome to apply, applications to be received not later than 15th May 2012. The local costs of participation in the 2-day workshop will be covered by GCP.
One and a half days of the workshop will be dedicated to reviewing the resources of the IBP Web Portal; introducing the Cassava Central Database and Trait Dictionary; introductory training on the Integrated Breeding FieldBook and the handheld tablet that hosts it; and, introductory training on pedigree management. The last half -day will be dedicated to discussions on the Cassava Community of Practice, with a view to extending its reach, and enhancing interactions between members working on different projects in different regions.
A more detailed programme for the workshop and other salient information will be provided in due course. For queries, please contact Arllet Portugal and/or Ndeye Ndack Diop at the Generation Challenge Programme.