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Scientific impacts

Capacity Impacts

Scientific impacts

The intent of DLB is to lead to greater availability of new, high performing crop varieties that respond to customer needs and market demand, and which will, in the longer term, lead to increased adoption of new high performing varieties by farmers in Africa, contributing to food and nutritional security and income generation.

The scientific impacts are to better integrate all aspects of market demand into the design of new plant varieties. This involves the systematic use of product profiles to define the priority traits identified through consultation within the value chain for each crop and country. This includes incorporating demand from farmers (primarily addressing biological constraints), as well as demands from consumers (such as taste, color, quality) and demand from suppliers (e.g. storage quality).

Demand led breeding has developed product profiles that identify the priority traits required by various actors along the value chain.  The following guidelines have been developed for a range of crops, environments, and markets and available under “resources”.

Product profiles – a Practitioners Guide: Overview

Product profiles – a Practitioners Guide: Creating product profile summaries

Product profiles for two new bean varieties in Tanzania and Uganda

Product profiles for two new tomato varieties in Benin and Ghana

The establishment of technical data sheets which compare the performance of new varieties against a check (currently grown) variety, will verify the breeding programs and form part of the communications plan to promote new varieties and their desirable attributes.

Scientific partnerships to increase adoption of demand-led breeding principles

Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Morogoro, Tanzania

SAU has developed a road map for the integration of the DLB concept in several course module at SUA under the Department of Crop Science and Horticulture in Tanzania

Seed System Group (SSG), Nairobi, Kenya

Seed System Group (SSG), Nairobi Kenya. SSG is a non-profit organization, led by seed systems specialists who have played a pivotal role in breeding better crop varieties and launching more than 100 local seed companies in some 15 countries including Ghana and Ethiopia, SSG is leveraging the DLB expertise available amongst the project partners in Africa to deliver good quality seeds to farmers through the DLB and PABRA networks and market corridors, predominantly in West Africa.

AfricaSeed, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire

AfricaSeed, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire is the agency of the African Union that since 2010 is responsible for the implementation of the African Seed and Biotechnology Programme (ASBP). AfricaSeed’s vision is to secure seed for Africa by building efficient and sustainable seed systems. Demand led breeding principles can reach over 40 countries in Africa by partnering with the wide connections of AfricaSeed as well as benefiting from the responsibilities of the African Union regarding the harmonization of seed systems and regulatory issues across Africa.

Capacity impacts

The aim of DLB is to build capacity within plant breeding programs on demand-led variety design for postgraduate programs and for professional development. A comprehensive education and training program has been developed to build capacity within plant breeding programs in Africa on demand-led variety design. These objectives are to:

  1. provide new professional development opportunities for plant breeders in Africa; and
  2. produce and disseminate new education and training materials related to the implementation of demand-led breeding programs. 

These capacity impacts come from the project partners working with universities, research scientists and the private sector to develop and disseminate educational materials on demand-led approach to plant breeding.  The education and training materials that are currently in development include:

Introductory course on Demand-led plant breeding – Gender-related issues

Advanced module 1 – Creating product profiles and technical data sheets

Advanced module 2 – Making the case for investing in demand-led to plant breeding

The DLB educational materials are to be incorporated into African university curricula

Several African universities have formally incorporated the demand-led breeding approaches, developed through the DLB project, into their formal postgraduate teaching programs on plant breeding, including the University of Ghana, the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa; and the University of Nairobi, Kenya.  

DLB “Community of Practice”

A DLB “community of practice” has been established amongst some 400 plant breeders (120 of whom are women) within African national agricultural research systems (NARS). These professionals are working on 44 crops within 28 countries of Africa. A comprehensive survey has been conducted with this community as to their current priorities and new varieties available.
Visit the DLB Community of Practice section