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2nd Plant Breeders Association of Nigeria (PBAN*) Webinar Series

Breeding Crops to Feed 2.5 billion Africans by 2050

The Plant Breeders Association of Nigeria hosted presenters from the International Demand Led Breeding Project on the 25th of May 2022. In a series of webinars themed: Breeding Crops to Feed 2.5 billion Africans by 2050.
The two main presenters were Professor Hussein Shimelis, Professor of Plant Breeding at African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI), University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), and Dr. Nasser Yao, Molecular Plant Breeder AMS Pan-African coordinator, Demand-Led Breeding Project · Alliance Bioversity-CIAT. They presented on Demand-led Plant Variety Design for Emerging Markets in Africa and The value of speed breeding in Demand-led Plant Breeding (DLB) respectively.
Demand-led plant breeding aims to identify and share best practices in Demand-led Plant Variety Design for Changing Markets in Africa from private and public sector breeding programs worldwide. Crop improvements can help us to meet the challenge of feeding a population of 10 billion, but can we breed better varieties fast enough?


Prof. Hussein Shimelis

Demand led plant breeding – a business approach


The Value of SMART breeding in Demand-Led Plant Breeding 

Dr. Nasser Yao

Event participants were over 400(Zoom: 120 and Facebook: 300) including public and private sector plant breeders, educators, demand-led breeding alumni, and policymakers

* PBAN is a duly registered scientific association whose members are the critical mass of plant breeders in the private and public sector of Nigeria, cutting across private agricultural companies and outfits, research institutes and academic institutions, Government ministries and related agencies

Market-led approaches to plant breeding in Sub-Sahara Africa

Insights and benefits from changing practices

DLB Workshop at African Plant Breeders Association Conference

Kigali - October 29th 2021

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The principles of demand-led breeding and incorporating market-driven thinking into breeding programmes has been getting traction across Africa. Over 400 breeders, crop improvement scientists and educators within universities, national programmes, international research centers and the private sector are part of the DLB community of practice. DLB  has stimulated interest because it offers practitioners a new pathway with higher chances of success to achieve their ultimate goal;


creating improved varieties that are highly sought after by farmers and their value-chains, and make a real difference to African farmers’ livelihoods and food security for their families and communities.



DLB has universal utility: the principles are applicable to breeding programmes on any crop, produced in any cropping system and sold through any value chain or market. There are a range of challenges to implement DLB in different operational situations but the core best practices are relevant for any breeder working in a university, a National breeding programme, a public research institute or in the private sector.

But what are the real examples on the ground? Where has using DLB stimulated innovation, empowered breeders to move beyond their current norms, catalyzed their connectivity and relationships with value chain players and created opportunities for their new varieties to achieve greater awareness and adoption?

International launch of the Demand led Breeding Product Profile publications


August 27, 2020

The DLB Product Profile publications were launched at an international webinar, co-hosted by the DLB project team in Africa and SFSA, Switzerland on August 27, 2020. The theme of the launch was: Deployment of Product Profiles and Practitioners’ Guide at Research and Educational Organizations in Africa. The launch webinar was attended by some 120 participants from within Africa, including those joining from Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.

There were also additional participants from DLB partners in Australia and Switzerland.

The launch presentations were made by several DLB team members joining the webinar from the DLB partners in eastern, southern and West Africa. These presentations introduced the overall Product Profiles - A Practitioners Guide, a proforma for preparing a new product profile, and examples of the use of the guidelines in developing farmer and market preferred varieties.

Deployment of Product Profiles - Southern Africa

October 15th 2020


The DLB Product Profiles Webinar for southern Africa was led and hosted by the African Center for Crop Improvement (ACCI) and CIAT Malawi on October 15th, 2020. The webinar was titled “Product Profiling for Plant Variety Design and Commercialization in Southern Africa”. In this workshop, DLB members and plant breeders from southern Africa provided an overview of the practitioners' guide developed for product profiles, present an example of the application of this guide in the development of new product profiles, and discuss the applicability of this guide across a wide range of crops in Africa, as well as the resources available to guide plant breeding educators, researchers and research

managers. It was attended by approximately 100 participants, coming mainly from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Making the case for
Investing in DLB in Southern Africa

October 18th 2020

Image by Christina @

The international Demand-Led Breeding (DLB) working group with University of KwaZulu-Natal’s African Centre for Crop Improvement hosted a webinar to initiate a dialogue to invest in plant breeding for the research and development community in Southern Africa. The aim is to create dialogues to strengthen plant breeding and to make the case for investing in demand-led plant breeding in Southern Africa. Eminent academics and R&D managers from Southern Africa and internationally provided keynote addresses. There were 230 registered participants, mainly coming from countries across southern Africa being public and private sector plant breeders, educators, R&D

managers, demand-led breeding alumni, and policy makers.
The event involved four keynote speakers (Prof Richar Sikor, Emeritus Professor of the University of Bonn, Germany; Dr Shadrack Moephuli, Chief Executive Officer, Agricultural Research Council, South Africa; Dr Ephrame Kudzaishe Havazvidi, Research Consultant, Seed Co Grp, Zimbabwe; and Dr David Cocharna, Spoor and Firsher, South Africa

Regional Webinar hosted by the DLB West Africa node at WACCI


October 23rd 2020

The DLB Product Profiles Webinar for West African was led and hosted by the West African Center for Crop improvement (WACCI) for the West Africa community to launch major new materials on Product Profiling.


The webinar was for professionals seeking to create and develop new improved crop varieties with higher market demand and use for food security in west Africa, as part of their Demand-Led Breeding Community of Practice.


The webinar was titled “Product Profiling: A Practitioners Guide”. It was attended by 62 participants, mainly plant breeders working in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Nigeria.

Upcoming Events

Dialogue - Investing in DLB

West Africa

Event type: Online Meeting

Date          : Oct - 2021

                    (date to be provided) 

2nd Dialogue - Investing in DLB

Southern Africa

Event type: Online Meeting

Date          : 22nd Oct  2021

                    10:00 - 13:00

(South Africa time)

Dialogue - Investing in DLB

Eastern Africa

Event type: Online Meeting

Date          : Oct - Nov 2021

                    (date to be provided) 

Market-led approaches to plant breeding

Sub-Sahara Africa

Event type: Online Meeting

Date          : Oct - 2021

                    (date to be provided) 

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