IITA, in collaboration with CIMMYT, has organized a one-week training course for field technicians, seed specialists of public institutions, and production managers of seed companies participating in the Drought Tolerant Maize for Africa (DTMA) project. This is in recognition of the need for Africa to raise production to meet the world level of maize—a highly sought-after crop with industrial and local consumption benefits both for people and animals.
The training titled “Conduct and Management of Field Trials for Seed Production of Open-pollinated and Hybrid Seed” was held in Ibadan 4-8 August.
During the opening, Dr Robert Asiedu, IITA’s Research for Development Director for West Africa, urged participants to learn all that they could during the training. “Make use of this opportunity by sharing your experiences and also learning new things from your instructors,” he said.
Dr Dele Fakorede, a breeder, who was also present, added that efforts being made by research institutes and their partners would be futile if seed companies did not reach out to farmers with available technologies.
Twenty six trainees took part in the practical course which aimed at upgrading the technical capabilities and skills of the participants, particularly in quality hybrid maize seed production, variety testing, profitable seed marketing, community-based seed production, and the management of seed production fields.
The training also provided participants an opportunity to fully grasp the limiting factors and mitigation strategies for maize seed production and deployment in West Africa with much emphasis on drought and the parasitic weed Striga hermonthica.