Software Helps African Plant Breeders Shape Peanut Varieties
Published by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut:
"Groundnuts are an important crop in Uganda, both as a cash crop for farmers and an economical source of protein for consumers. But groundnut producers face challenges in the field, from unpredictable rainfall to acidic soils to a particularly difficult menace: groundnut rosette disease. These types of challenges are the reason that plant breeders systematically create new varieties, targeting the genetic traits that carry resistance or improve yield.
Software developed by the Integrated Breeding Platform (IBP) helps them to do that.
David Okello, the head of the groundnut improvement program for Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), began using the IBP’s Breeding Management System (BMS) six years ago and helped shape and adapt the current version for his breeding program in Uganda.
Building on NARO’s success with the BMS — which helped keep track of more than 100 disease- and pest-resistant breeding lines developed by the program — Okello is helping to pass the technology to colleagues in national programs across East and Southern Africa. A small group of groundnut breeders affiliated with the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut already collaborate to share germplasm and knowledge to deliver better varieties to local farmers."