Background of the project
In March 2015, CFF (as project leader) and partners (the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, Nigeria (IITA), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Crops Research Institute, Ghana (CSIR-CRI), and Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia (BAU) received grant approval from the Third Round of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture – Benefit Sharing Fund (ITPGRFA – BSF) for the project “Genetic and trait characterisation of farmer and genebank sources of bambara groundnut for the development of drought tolerant lines in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia”. The project will last three years and will involve molecular breeding and field trials with bambara groundnut in four countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, Ghana and Nigeria) to improve drought tolerance and reduce the cooking time for this legume. This project has, at its core, a marker supported international breeding and selection programme for bambara groundnut with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. The aim is to improve an already nutritionally valuable and drought resilient legume for food security, environmental protection and income generation for the world’s most vulnerable regions.
Background of the visit.
Dr. Aryo Feldman, the Senior Research Coordinator of BamYIELD Programme, CFF has make a visit from 5 December 2016 to 5 January 2017 to Ibadan in Nigeria and Kumasi in Ghana under the ITPGRFA-BSF project and other CFF related matters. The main objectives of the visit were:
- Visit field partners to assess standard of field work and sites
- Pass on protocols, research tools and minor levels of technique training
- Plan ways forward, particularly in terms of field work and future visits
- Understand issues, challenges and limitations faced by field partners
Visit to International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria
On 5 to 9 December 2016, Dr. Feldman visited IITA, Nigeria, to discuss the ITPGRFA-BSF project. This included the issues and details of the project’s IITA PhD student, Ben Faloye, as well as catching up on the progress in field experiments, demonstrating the online data input system and details of the transfer of resources. He also visited field sites in Ahmadu Bello University Zaria at both Kabba, Kogi state and Mokwa, Niger state; and a field site in Kudu in Niger state. All sites were purely irrigated by rain and so had varying levels of moisture conditions (weather increased in aridity the further North it was). Data sharing and discussions on various aspects of bambara groundnut research was held mainly with Dr. Oyatomi Olaniyi and Ben Faloye, Seedbank Managers in IITA.
Visit to Council For Scientific and Industrial Research – Crops Research Institute (CSIR-CRI), Ghana
On 10 to 13 December 2016, discussions on the ITPGRFA-BSF project and site visits were held in CSIR-CRI mainly with Mr. Kennedy Agyeman, a Research Scientist and Dr. Joseph Nketiah Berchie, a Principal Research Scientist of CSIR-CRI.Dr. Berchie was interested in earliness – potentially as a trait associated with photoperiod insensitivity - and seed colour – more interested in cream coloured seeds for consumption and darker seeds for medicinal properties associated with tannin content; aswell as how these preferences vary in other countries – as well as drought tolerance. Other discussions with Mr. Agyeman and Dr. Paul included raising their interest in registering and commercialising seed varieties. Dr. Feldman also visited their on-station field site, which was currently being used to bulk up seed numbers for testing on multiple sites across Ghana