Third Strategic Meeting of GCP21

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Summary of the workshop

List of participants

Program and ppts

Outcomes of the workshop

Third Strategic Meeting of The Global Cassava Partnership for the 21st Century - Dar Es Salam, Tanzania, June 4-6, 2013

Collection, Documentation, Evaluation and Preservation of Cassava Landraces in South, East and Central Africa

Organization Committee:

Morag Ferguson, IITA Nairobi
Claude Fauquet, GCP21
Yona Baguma, NaCRRI, Uganda
Geoffrey Mkamilo, ARI, Tanzania
Paula Bramel, Global Crop Diversity Trust, Germany

Purpose of Convening: It is proposed to host a ‘convening’ to discuss, on a regional basis, the implications of the lack of a cassava germplasm repository, exchange and knowledge Centre, and how the region would like to address this constraint to cassava improvement. The purpose of the convening is to discuss how the center will be set up, funded and managed, as well as, to decide on how to establish a better more farmer centric approach to germplasm collection. An output of the convening would be a roadmap for the collection, conservation, exchange and compilation of knowledge relating to cassava germplasm in the region and a standardized protocol to collect, evaluate and preserve these valuable landraces.

Introduction: Cassava has existed in South, Eastern and Central (SEC) Africa since it was introduced from Brazil, its’ center of origin and domestication, in the late 18th to early 19th centuries. Its’ cultivation was encouraged by early administrators in the region, and it spread rapidly. Over the past 200 years it has adapted to environmental conditions in the region and has been selected by farmers according to their local preferences. In addition some farmer cultivars (also called cassava landraces) have evolved alongside prevalent pests and diseases, such as cassava mosaic disease (CMD) and cassava brown streak disease (CBSD). Some of these local landraces harbor valuable sources of pest and disease resistance as well as ‘adaptive gene complexes’ to both environmental conditions and farmer preferences.

Unfortunately to date only a very small number of farmer landraces from SEC Africa are conserved in a germplasm repository. Less than 2% of accessions from IITA genebank are from SEC Africa. There is no substantial germplasm repository in SEC Africa, and IITA Tanzania did not have the physical capacity for a germplasm bank although this is now changing with the construction a brand new facility that could host such collection (see below). The current situation of lack of a repository means that (1) local landraces are not readily available to breeders (2) some farmer landraces contain genetic variation and are not ‘clonal’ as researchers and breeders assume, and no ‘type specimen’ exists so breeders are often not sure of what they are breeding with, (3) disease-free farmer landraces are not available, preventing the movement and sharing of germplasm, (4) farmer varieties and the adaptive gene complexes they harbor are vulnerable to genetic erosion from the spread of improved cultivars with increased breeding activities in the region and in the face of devastating diseases such as CBSD which may cause the total loss of susceptible landraces, and (5) there is no germplasm database concerning the various attributes of particular clones, geographical location and farmer perceptions for use as a decision-making tool. This lack of ‘farmer-centric’ information means that breeders may not fully understand the subtleties of farmer preferences with implications for varietal adoption of improved germplasm.

Topics for Discussion at the Convening:

  • Benefits to the regional cassava community of ready access to disease-free cassava germplasm which is well-documented with farmer-information and finger-printed for identification purposes. This would include the benefits of exchanging and acquiring germplasm both regionally and internationally.
  • Current status of access to cassava germplasm, including conservation, and knowledge, and its impact on cassava breeding and development activities.
  • Current knowledge of the genetic bottleneck in cassava diversity in the region, and genetic relationships of landraces from different countries. The impact of this knowledge on future conservation and germplasm exchange activities to enhance diversity.
  • Genetic variation within collected and evaluated landraces.
  • Sovereignty issues. It will be made clear to countries that the germplasm is their resource, and it is up to them whether they are prepared to share these resources in a global context.
  • The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources. What this means in terms of cassava and the region.
  • FAO designation and International Genebanks. The case of cassava in SEC Africa, and limitations imposed by quarantine restrictions.
  • How can the region organize itself to efficiently acquire, conserve and exchange cassava germplasm, and document and disseminate knowledge concerning germplasm and farmer preferences?
  • Review of a proposition by IITA and NARO.

Objectives that may be funded by IITA and other donors:

  • Establish an in vitro cassava germplasm facility in IITA-Tanzania building. The physical space for a facility is already available in a new IITA Science Building in Dar es Salaam. This will be equipped in 2013 through funding from IITA and other donors. On-going operational costs will be sought from other donors such as the Global Crop Diversity Trust.
  • Establish efficient virus cleaning services at IITA-Tanzania. IITA will seek complimentary funding to support this activity. Good virus indexing services are already available to support virus cleaning activities.
  • Establish a field genebank in a disease-free location such as in Tanga Province, Tanzania. IITA already has a quarantine block in Tanga, so this facility will be expanded.
  • Establish a facility and safe procedures for receiving germplasm from South America, to broaden the germplasm base in SEC Africa.

Objectives which may form the basis of a future grant from BMGF, that support potential and on-going objectives described above:

  • Train breeders and germplasm scientists in germplasm collection.
  • Populate the in-vitro and field genebanks by collecting germplasm, initially in Tanzania and Uganda, but later in Malawi, Mozambique, Madagascar and regionally.
  • Properly document varietal attributes, specific location and farmers’ perceptions and knowledge at time of collection.
  • Establish a germplasm database for passport data, farmer knowledge, characterization and evaluation data.

List of Participants

Thandie Lupupa   SADC Plant Genetic Resources Centre Zambia
Dr. Able Chalwe Cassava Breeder Mutanda Research Station Zambia
Godfrey Mwila Chief Agricultural Research Officer Crop Improvement & Agronomy, Agriculture Research Institute,
Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock
Robert Kawuki Cassava Breeder NARO Uganda
Yona Baguma Cassava Molecular Breeder  NARO Uganda
Christopher Abu Omongo  EAAPP coordinator NARO - EAAPP Uganda
Grace Nakabonge   NARO Uganda
Geoffrey Mkamilo Cassava Breeder ARI, Naliendele Tanzania
Heneriko Kulembeka  Cassava Breeder  ARI, Ukiriguru Tanzania
Vincent Weyengo Cassava Breeder KARI Kenya
Zacchary Muthamia Cassava Genetic Resources KARI, Genetic Reources Unit Kenya
Pheneas Ntawuruhunga Cassava Breeder IITA Malawi
Lawrent L.M Pungulani Chief Agricultural Research Scientist (Curator) Malawi Plant Genetic Resources Centre Malawi
Ms Danièle Ramiaramanana Cassava Breeder FOFIFA Madagascar
Miss Rojo Aina Ravalisoa Cassava Genetic Resources FOFIFA Madagascar
Anabela Zacarias Cassava Breeder Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique Mozambique
Ivone Muocha Chimene Cassava Genetic Resources Lecturer  Eduardo Mondlane University Mozambique
Simon Bigirimana Cassava Breeder Head Cassava Research Program Burundi
Mahungu Nzola-Meso Cassava Breeder IITA Kinshasa DRC
Ms. Mamie Binzunga Makumbu Cassava Genetic Resources Cassava breeding INERA, Mvuazi Research Station Bas-Congo DRC
Edward Kanju Cassava Breeder IITA Tanzania
James Legg Epidemiologist IITA Tanzania
Victor Manyong East Africa Hub Director IITA Tanzania
Lava Kumar Virologist IITA Ibadan Nigeria
Morag Ferguson Molecular Geneticist IITA Nairobi Kenya
Gueye Badara Genebank Manager IITA Ibadan Nigeria
Michael Abberton Head of Genebank IITA Ibadan Nigeria
Clair Hershey Cassava program leader CIAT Colombia
Claude Fauquet  Director  GCP21 USA
Loretta Byrnes   Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation USA
Adriana Alercia Representative Bioversity International Italy
Raphael Laizer Representative FAO Tanzania

Program of the meeting

Tuesday 4th June    
08:30 - 09:00 Transfer to IITA  
09:00 - 09:10 Official welcome Victor Manyong
09:10 - 09:20 Official welcome Claude Fauquet  
09:20 - 09:30 Introduction of participants  
09:30 - 09:45 Background, goals and format of the meeting Morag Ferguson PDF
Cassava landraces in SEC Africa: value, diversity and conservation status
Chairperson: Gervais Gashaka, Rapporteur: Grace Nakabonge
09:45 - 10:05  The value of farmer varieties and indigenous knowldege in cassava breeding in Uganda Robert Kawuki PDF
10:05 - 10:30 The value of farmer varieties and indigenous knowledge in cassava breeding in Mozambique Anabela Zacharias PDF
10:30 - 11:00  Tea/Coffee Break/Group photo  
11:00 - 11:20 The value of farmer varieties and indigenous knowldege in cassava breeding in DR Congo Nzola Mahungu PDF
11:20 - 11:40 Discussion: Sharing of experiences on farmer varieties and value of indigenous knowledge Gervais Gashaka  
11:40 - 12:10 Diversity of cassava in SEC Africa Morag Ferguson PDF
On-going cassava conservation activities in Africa
Chairperson: Geoffrey Mkamilo, Rapporteur: Clara Samukoya
12:10 - 12:40 Cassava viruses in Africa and their impact on germplasm conservation and use James Legg PDF
12:40 - 13:00 Conservation activities as part of the EAAPP/NEXTGEN projects Grace Nakabonge PDF
13:00 -14:00 Lunch  
14:00 - 14:20 The SADC Genebank Thandie Lupupa PDF
14:20 - 14:40 Cassava conservation at IITA Michael Abberton PDF
Introduction to a roadmap for cassava conservation and exchange in SEC Africa
Chairperson: Morag Ferguson, Rapporteur: Heneriko Kulembeka
14:40 - 15:30
Factors to consider and process in developing a roadmap for conservation and exchange of cassava and its indigenous knowledge in SEC Africa Paula Bramel (Godfrey Mwila) PDF
15:30 - 16:00 Tea/Coffee  
The genetic resources global policy environment
Chairperson: Zachary Muthamia, Rapporteur: Gueye Badara
16:00 - 16:45 The Genetic Resources Global Policy Environment Godfrey Mwila PDF
16:45 - 17:15 Questions and answers Godfrey Mwila  
17:15 - 17:30 Outcomes of recent meeting in Bellagio Claude Fauquet PDF
17:30 Transport to Kebby's Hotel  
Wednesday 5th June    
08:30 - 09:00 Transfer to IITA  
Components of Genetic Resource Conservation and Dissemination
Chairperson: Thandie Lupupa
09:00 - 09:20 Germplasm collection methodologies Adriana Alercia PDF
09:20 - 09:30 Brainstorming: issues to consider for roadmap in working group D  
09:30 - 09:50 Genebank documentation systems Michael Abberton PDF
09:50 - 10:00 Brainstorming: issues to consider for roadmap in working group J  
10:00 - 10:20 Collection and documentation of farmer knowledge Adriana Alercia PDF
10:20 - 10:30 Brainstorming: issues to consider for roadmap in working group E  
10:30 - 11:00 Tea/Coffee Break  
Chairperson: Able Chalwe
11:00 - 11:20 In vitro conservation Gueye Badara PDF
11:20 - 11:30 Brainstorming: issues to consider for roadmap in working group F  
11:30 - 12:05 In -situ conservation in relation to cassava Adriana Alercia PDF
12:05 - 12:15 Brainstorming: issues to consider for roadmap in working group F  
12:15 - 13:00 Tour of the proposed rooms for IITA in vitro and diagnostics facilities Gueye Badara  
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch  
Chairperson: Robert Kawuki  
14:00 - 14:15 Genetic fingerprinting Morag Ferguson PDF
14:15 - 14:25 Brainstorming: issues to consider for roadmap in working group G  
 14:25 - 14:50 Germplasm characterisation and evaluation and the importance of field genebanks
Clair Hershey
14:50 - 15:00 Brainstorming: issues to consider for roadmap in working group G  
15:00 - 15:20 Diagnostics, phytosanitation, phytosanitary regulations and germplasm transfer Lava Kumar PDF
15:20 - 15:30 Brainstorming: issues to consider for roadmap in working group H  
15:30 - 16:00 Tea/Coffee  
Managing diversity in cassava varieties
Chairperson: Claude Fauquet
16:00 - 16:20 Managing within varietal variation in the context of collection of a clonally propagated crop Clair Hershey PDF
16:20 - 16:40 Managing within varietal variation in context of a genebank: the options Michael Abberton PDF
16:40 - 17:30 Open discussion Clair Hershey  
17:30 Transport to Kebby's Hotel  
Thursday 6th June    
08:30 - 09:00 Transfer to IITA  
09:00 - 09:15 Summary from yesterday's deliberations and agenda for the day Morag Ferguson  
Working groups: Development of a Regional Strategy
Each person to go to each working group for 20 min (except coordinators who can contribute in general discussion)
Working group A - What should be the geographical coverage of a regional strategy for cassava conservation and germplasm exchange? Synergies between the various genebanks? Chris Omongo PDF
Working group B - How do we ensure the sustainability of conservation and dissemination activities in SEC Africa? Clair Hershey PDF
Working group C - IP issues and germplasm exchange: how to address on a country/regional basis? Godfrey Mwila PDF
10:30 - 11:00 Tea/Coffee Break  
11:00 - 11:30 Feedback from different working groups and open discussion Morag Ferguson  
Working groups: Components of a Roadmap - what are the issues that need addressing?  
11:30 - 12:30  
Working group D - A roadmap for germplasm collection: Who? What ? How? Edward Kanju PDF
Working group E - A roadmap for collection and documentation of farmer knowledge: Who? What ? How? Adriana Alercia PDF
Working group F - A roadmap for conservation strategies: in vitro, field genebanks, in situ and safety duplication Gueye Badara PDF
12:30 - 13:00 Feedback from different working groups and open discussion Claude Fauquet  
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch  
Working group G - A roadmap for germplasm evaluation and characterisation, including fingerprinting? Clair Hershey PDF
Working group H - A roadmap for safe conservation and germplasm exchange? Lava Kumar PDF
Working group J - A roadmap for documentation Michael Abberton PDF
15:00 - 15:30 Feedback from different working groups and open discussion Morag Ferguson  
15:30 - 16:00 Tea/Coffee Break  
Consolidating meeting outputs  
16:00 - 17:15 Open discussion, outline of strategy and roadmap and outline of whitepaper Morag Ferguson and Claude Fauquet  
17:15 - 17:30 Next steps and closing Morag Ferguson and Claude Fauquet  
17:30 Transport to Kebby's Hotel  

 Outcomes of the Meeting:

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