Experts from the IRRI's International Rice Genebank and the AfricaRice gene bank met with representatives from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda recently at a workshop to plan rice germplasm collection in the three countries
The two-day workshop involved presentations and discussions on the importance of rice in each country, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, gathering traditional knowledge, and planning collection missions.
Jimmy Lamo, a rice breeder from the National Agricultural Organization in Uganda, said, "It is urgent that germplasm collection is conducted... new generations of rice are coming in and farmers are throwing old varieties away.”
Following the workshop, IRRI’s Ruaraidh Sackville Hamilton and Fiona Hay and AfricaRice's Kayode Sanni and Daniel Tia will spend time in each country to gain understanding of local issues regarding germplasm collection and to help complete collecting plans.
Collecting missions would start later in May. The workshop was the first of several activities under a project funded by the Gatsby Foundation to collect landraces and wild species of rice.