Saturday, April 3, 2010

Strengthening MAS capacity of national partners

A regional training workshop organized by AfricaRice jointly supported through its Green Super Rice (GSR) project and the West and Central African Council for Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) project on research methods in marker-assisted selection (MAS) was held in Cotonou, from 29 March to 3 April.

The aim of the workshop was to upgrade the capacity of plant breeders from research centers and universities of 12 African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Uganda) to use research methodologies applied in MAS. MAS is a tool that allows the direct application of molecular markers to make plant breeding easier and breeding programs more efficient.

AfricaRice and the Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) experts served as resource persons for the workshop. The participants highlighted the importance of forming a network that will enable them to exchange information on MAS-related research activities in the participating countries. They also pointed out the importance of establishing functional biotechnology laboratories in their countries and of a regional supply system to facilitate procurement of laboratory material. 

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