In the last few years, we have witnessed the struggle and difficulties faced by our IBP user cases and GCP Research Initiatives in the area of Data Management, especially where the breeding program is just starting to establish a system. In response to this, we have formed a team of four experienced consultants to provide technical support in this area to the IBP user cases and all other GCP partners.
The support encompasses establishment of local databases for a breeding program; curating germplasm information; loading datasets to the IB database; documenting the Trait Dictionary; training and support and in the use of informatics, stand-alone tools and the IBP web portal; and populating the IBP portal community pages with useful and dynamic information.
Our team of consultants consists of experts in crop data management who have had extensive experience in CGIAR centres. Akinnola Akitunde worked at IITA and ICARDA as database manager and crop informatics specialist, establishing the central databases for cowpea, yam, chickpea, barley and other crops. Fernando Rojas worked at CIAT and CIMMYT as database administrator and crop informatics specialist, and was involved in the data management of rice, cassava, bean and wheat. Rowena Valerio-Tulod worked at IRRI and CIMMYT as systems analyst and data manager for rice and wheat, and was deeply involved in the establishment of the Gene Management System (GEMS - especially for wheat) and also handled several ICIS trainings sessions. Maria Corina Habito worked at IRRI as system analyst and database manager, and greatly contributed to the management of the web portal for the Standard Material Transfer Agreements (SMTA) and the International Rice Information System (IRIS); and the development of ICIS and technical support to users.
This data management support team is already working with some some partners – James Gethi of the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute for maize; Emmanuel Okogbenin of the Nigerian National Root Crops Research Institute for cassava; and Jonaliza Lanceras-Siangliw of BIOTEC-Thailand for rice.
The team is eager to extend support to more partners, in keeping with the offer GCP made at the General Research Meeting in Hyderabad in September. Please contact Arllet Portugal or Fred Okono to arrange support in the areas described above. We look forward to working with you in this challenging but exciting task.