Sesbania seed collections in Southern Africa
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The International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) is a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) system and has recently established a Multipurpose Tree Germplasm Resource Unit (MPT-GRU) in Nairobi, Kenya. The first major activity of the MPT-GRU was to undertake a regional germplasm collection ofSesbania in 5 countries in southern Africa in a collaborative mode with National Agricultural Research Services (NARS). The collections took place in Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Key elements of a generalised collaborative mode (the ‘model’) are indicated follwed by a summary of actual events. The initial phase involved joint planning and training sessions between NARS, three sister CGIAR centres and one regional institution, the Southern Africa Development Conference (SADC) Regional Gene Bank (SRGB). This was followed by actual collections during 1993 led by National scientists with different levels of CGIAR participation in each of the five countries. The International Board of Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR) took the lead in pre-collection training activities, ICRAF for developing the collection programme and the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA) for seed drying, testing and despatch for field trials. NARS gene banks guided the necessary administrative processes. The ICRAF lead scientist for the species and provenance evaluation phase was a crucial member of the planning process thus allowing integration of the collection with the eventual field evaluation. The article focuses on the collection strategy, administrative protocols for actual collections and summary results. Some advantages and difficulties associated with the collection programme and model are discussed. The collections were important in bringing together agriculturalists and foresters in a common germplasm collection exercise.
Key wordsSesbania germplasm collection collaboration
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