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R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)
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R4D Review Issue No. 6 (March 2011)

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In this issue: Plant health is an important concern for all. IITA believes that ensuring plant health is pivotal to improve agricultural productivity and food security, and reduce poverty. It is also …

In this issue: Plant health is an important concern for all. IITA believes that ensuring plant health is pivotal to improve agricultural productivity and food security, and reduce poverty. It is also a key element in IITA’s strategy of intensifying sustainable agriculture. Containing biological threats, among other things, to food security is the real national defense, says IITA DG Hartmann.

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  • To ensure Food Security in Sub Sahara Africa, Plant Health matter needs emmidiate attension. Elimination of plant viruses by Diagnosis techniques, Meristem tip culture and PCR are integral.........
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  • 1. R4D Review Issue 6, March 2011 Climate change and plant health Healthy banana tissue culture industry Safe exchange of germplasm Germ-free germplasm In Kanti Rawal’s footsteps Restoring the IITA Forest Investing in aflasafeTM Clean seed systems: Banana, cassava, and yam A hot bath for the suckers! Novel surveillance system Transgenic banana for AfricaResearcher inspecting soybean seeds forpathogen cultures. Photo by J. Oliver, IITA. www.iita.org
  • 2. contents2 EDITOR’S NOTE Plant health matters 4Nigeria gets improved Plant health is an important concern cassava for all. IITA believes that ensuring plant Better soybean health is pivotal to increase productivity and in its strategy of sustainable Conference on agriculture intensification. Containing humid tropics biological threats, among other things, UPoCA gives to food security is the real national farmers a lifeline defense. Liberia and Ghana to6 REVIEW Climate change and plant health 6 develop agriculture Agriculture has been pinpointed as one of the factors contributing to climate change. This article discusses what research the CGIAR centers, including IITA, are doing to cushion the negative impacts of climate change.12 FEATURES Towards a healthy banana industry in East Africa 12 Banana production in East Africa has been riddled with problems, including pests and diseases. IITA scientist Thomas Dubois did a SWOT analysis to determine what ingredients are needed for the banana tissue culture industry to succeed. GHU: Gateway for the safe exchange of germplasm 19 IITA’s Germplasm Health Unit is delivering a critical function. Virologist and GHU Head Lava Kumar walks us through the important work being undertaken to ensure the safe exchange of international public goods. Conservation of germ-free germplasm 26 Conserving clean genetic resources for agricultural sustainability and the preservation of diversity is imperative if we want to ensure global food security. In Kanti Rawal’s footsteps 28 Kanti Rawal, IITA’s plant geneticist in the 1970s, traveled 38,000 km around Nigeria and Niger to collect wild and domesticated accessions of cowpea. The authors—Remy Pasquet, Dominique Dumet, and Sunday Aladele—tell how they did the same almost 40 years later and came up with the same conclusions. Restoring the IITA forest 33 The IITA forest is an Important Bird Area, refuge, and a critical pocket of biodiversity in Nigeria and in the region. Read how the IITA-Leventis forest restoration project in Ibadan is promoting and raising awareness about forest conservation.36 BEST PRacTicE Investing in aflasafeTM 36 Commercial production of a simple biocontrol product called aflasafe™, developed by IITA and collaborators, may be the solution to the recalcitrant problem of aflatoxin contamination in important food products, such as maize and groundnuts.
  • 3. Clean seed systems: banana, cassava, and yam Clean yam seed tubers from vine cuttings 43Production and distribution of clean planting materials Plant Physiologist Hidehiko kikuno describes theof banana and plantain 38 new technology of producing yam seed tubers.Banana is a staple eaten by millions of Africans. in this The technology combines growing vine cuttings onarticle, Banana/Plantain Breeder Bi irie Vroh explains carbonized rice husks and in vitro micropropagationhow iiTA produces clean planting materials of banana (tissue culture). it is quick, cost-effective and resultsfor distribution to partners. in clean planting materials.Developing clean seed A hot bath for the suckers! 46systems for cassava 41 Production of banana andCassava is the most widely plantain, important food crops,cultivated of all vegetatively- is constrained by pests andpropagated crops. Virologist diseases, such as nematodesJames legg discusses how and weevils that lead to annualiiTA and partners have put in losses of millions of dollars. iiTAplace a rigorous new system scientists have devised an easycalled Quality Management method of killing nematodes inProtocol to assure the health banana suckers—immersingof cassava planting material. them in boiling water for 20-30 seconds!48 DEWN: adiseasesurveillance system for cassava novel 48 A multipartner team of scientists havetool box developed an early warning system that uses cell phones to monitor and track cassava disease outbreaks in Tanzania, and now in Rwanda.54 who’s who 59 lookiNg iNDavid Chikoye: NAQS: iiTA contributes to our effectiveness 59Think of the big picture 54 CoMESA: Ensuring sanitary and phtosanitaryJim gockowski: standards in the region 62Intensification of agriculture is analternative to deforestation 56 iAPSC: Protecting Africas plant health 6670 f R o N T i E R STransgenic banana for Africa 70Molecular geneticist leena Tripathi provides an update ona collaborative work to develop a high-value product—thetransgenic banana. The use of transgenic technologiesfacilitates the transfer of useful genes, such as those fordeveloping resistance to banana Xanthomonas wilt. 1
  • 4. EDiToRS NoTEPlant health mattersEfforts by national and international intensification2. The compelling reasonresearch systems during the last two for this is that biological threats, such asdecades have contributed to nearly diseases, pests, and weeds are directlydoubling the production of major staple responsible for reducing crop yields byfoods including cassava, maize, yam, at least one-third3, and at least half ofand banana in Africa. Most of these these losses could easily be avertedgains, however, have come about as a using simple and affordable technologiesresult of an expansion of the planted and practices that prevent diseases andarea, but crop production per unit area pests from affecting plants and produce.of the land is lower than anywhere else Ensuring plant health, therefore, is onein the world. of IITA’s most important R4D strategies to improve agricultural productivity andYet the continent is expected to improve food security and reduce poverty.food production dramatically, doublingor tripling the existing capacity, to This issue highlights some of thefeed over 200 million undernourished technologies and strategies developedpeople1. Although new varieties have and promoted by IITA and its partnerscontributed to improve crop production, for plant health protection.productivity, and quality, their The value of plant health managementperformance has been constrained by cannot be underestimated givensuboptimal conditions, such as declining the precarious nature of agriculturalsoil fertility, drought, attacks by pests systems in Africa with the evolution,and diseases, and lack of good quality establishment, and quick spread ofplanting material. pests and diseases, such as fruit flies,The current approach—expanding the cassava brown streak and bananaarea under agriculture to increase food bacterial wilt.production—is unsustainable and results Although plant health protectionin significant ecological damage. This measures are relatively easy to adopt,realization worldwide is driving the considerable training, awarenesssearch for newer options to intensify creation, and financial supportagriculture within the existing area. are required to improve skills andWe believe that ensuring plant health infrastructure in national systems tois pivotal to increase productivity and foster the technology transfer to farmsthe strategy of sustainable agriculture where plant health matters. True national defense is a huge offensive force against biological threats to food systems. - Hartmann, Director General, IITA1 FAO. 2010. The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2010. FAO, Rome.2 www.bis.gsi.gov.uk/foresight3 Oerke EC. 2006. J. Ag. Sci. 144: 31–43.2
  • 5. To ensure food security in Africa, plant health matters need to be given immediateattention. Photo by J. Oliver, IITA. 3
  • 6. NEWS The varieties are Tgx1740- 2f, Tgx1987-10f, and Tgx1987-62f. Tgx1740- 2f was developed by iiTA High in nutritive value, soybean is fast gaining appeal in Africa, offering a cheap source of protein. TheNigeria gets in collaboration with the crop is also emerging as animproved Department of Agricultural Research Services (DARS) in important feed, food, and raw material for producingcassava Malawi. Varieties Tgx1987- high-quality protein products. 10f and Tgx1987-62f for smallholder farmers it isThe Nigerian government were developed by iiTA in an important cash crop andhas released four improved collaboration with Nigeria’s also improves soil fertilitycassava varieties that are a NCRi. because of its ability to fixproduct of about a decade- high amounts of atmosphericold conventional breeding The Malawi Agricultural Technology Clearing nitrogen.research. These include NR01/0004, CR 41-10, TMS Committee officially approved the release of Tgx1740-2f00/0203, and TMS 01/0040. in January 2011 while the Conference onTMS 00/0203 and TMS01/0040 were bred by iiTA Nigeria Varietal Release humid tropics Committee releasedscientists, while NR 01/0004 Tgx1987-10f and Tgx1987- The Consortium for improvingwas bred by the Umudike, 62f in December 2010. Agriculture-based livelihoodsNigeria-based National Root in Central Africa (CiAlCA)Crops Research institute, and The varieties outperformed the standard and local checks and the CgiAR ConsortiumCR 41-10 by the Colombia- Research Program (CRP) onbased international Center for grown in the two countries, with high grain yield in the Humid Tropics led by iiTATropical Agriculture (CiAT). will convene an international multiple locations under on-on-farm prerelease trials station and on-farm trials. conference on Challengesinvolving local farmers in eight and opportunities forstates of the country show Many farmers preferred Agricultural Intensification ofthat the improved varieties the varieties because they the Humid-Highland Systemsoutperformed local checks smother weeds and reduce of sub-Saharan Africa, inwith an average yield of about the cost of weeding. farmers kigali, Rwanda, on 24-2731 t/ha compared with 26 t/ that participated in the on- october 2011.ha recorded by the local farm trials of the varieties last year said they preferred them The humid highlands invarieties. sub-Saharan Africa are especially for their goldenfarmers love the varieties color at maturity. characterized by highfor their excellent culinary population densities andqualities, high yield, and in Malawi, Tgx1740-2f require intensification.resistance to pests and gave the highest mean Unfortunately, manydiseases. grain yield of 2.5 t/ha. it communities lack easy exceeded the yield of checks, access to the means toThe new varieties seek to grain variety Nasoko by achieve this.strengthen Nigeria’s lead in 10% and the widely growncassava production, increase promiscuous variety Magoye The conference aims to takefarmers’ incomes, and by 32% during the two-year stock of the state-of the art inguarantee food security. multilocation on-station trials. agricultural intensification in the highlands of sub-Sahraran The variety performed Africa, and to chart theBetter soybean equally well during on-farm participatory variety selectionTwo African nations—Malawi trials in four districts of centraland Nigeria—have released Malawi. in the 2009/10three improved soybean season, it outyielded allvarieties that can enhance the new types of soybeanthe productivity of the crop varieties under testing withand offer farmers better 2.2 t/ha. it also surpassedopportunities. Nasoko by 15% and Magoye by 38%.4
  • 7. way forward for agriculturalresearch for development in Liberia andthe humid highlands, through Ghana to developkeynote presentations, oraland poster presentations, and agriculturestrategic panel discussions. The governments of ghanaUPoCA gives and the Republic of liberia have officially agreed tofarmers a lifeline jointly develop, promote, and implement research activitiesCassava value addition to improve their agriculturalis helping African farmers sectors.increase their income, andimprove livelihoods and A memorandum offood security through a understanding was signed byUSAiD-funded project called Happy cassava woman representatives of ghana andUnleashing the Power of farmer. Photo by IITA. liberia, with the assistanceCassava (UPoCA). of iiTA’s Sustainable Tree farmers benefited from Crops Program (STCP), inimplemented in seven improved cassava cuttings, collaboration with the ghanaAfrican countries—Nigeria, training, and capacity building Cocoa Board. iiTA/STCPDR Congo, ghana, Malawi, for processors. works in both countries.Mozambique, Tanzania, in Nigeria the project linkedand Sierra leone—by iiTA, The agreement was signed up processors to farmers for by the Minister of finance andthe project has benefited steady production/supplythousands of farmers in these Economic Planning, kwabena of cassava roots, provided Duffuor, and the Chiefcountries. improved cuttings and Executive of CoCoBoD,in Sierra leone, the training, and also helped build Anthony Fofie, for Ghana, andTongea Women farmers the capacities of farmers and by the Minister of Agriculture,in Sandeyalu community processors. florence Chenoweth, andformed the Tongea womens farmers in ido community, the Deputy Director generaldevelopment association oyo State, Nigeria, have of the Central Agriculturalcomprised of 54 women and more than doubled the yield Research institute (CARi),4 men. of cassava from an average Abugarshall kai on behalf ofThrough the iiTA-UPoCA of 10 t/ha to more than liberia.project, a cassava 20 t/ha. other states that Under the MoU, the Cocoamicroprocessing center was benefited from the UPoCA Research institute ofsubsequently inaugurated, project were osun, ondo, ghana and liberia’s CARiproviding farmers with Ekiti, kogi, Nasarawa, and will exchange expertise,a financial window of Benue states. knowledge, and geneticopportunity. incomes from farmers say the project has resources (seeds and nurseryUSAiD projects such as increased the production of development) to develop andUPoCA have helped the cassava with the availability improve the tree crops sectorpeople of Sandeyalu in of improved cassava stems, in Liberia. Specifically, therebuilding their community making food more secure and national research institutionsafter years of civil unrest. generating wealth. of both countries will facilitateThis success story echoes the provision of planting Apart from boosting the material as requested byacross other countries such productivity of cassava in theas Nigeria, DR Congo, either countries, make project areas and maximizing available research andghana, Malawi, Mozambique, the use of the root crop, theand Tanzania where UPoCA training facilities and materials project is also promoting food to visiting scientists fromis being implemented. security and improving the either institution, and providein Malawi, UPoCA helped incomes of women farmers technical expertise for therevive a moribund starch and processors in particular, successful implementation offactory—the first in that and African farmers in mutually-agreed projects.country. Thousands of general. 5
  • 8. Climate change plant health &Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon*, i.zeledon@cgiar.org or sp-ipm@cgiar.orgThe discussion on the impact of climate technologies (e.g., predictive models,change (CC) on agriculture has often diagnostic tools) that are suitable forfocused on how changes in temperature, diverse agroecologies including therainfall, and CO2 concentrations will tropics, wet, humid, semiarid, and dry,affect the suitability of temperate and to some extent the temperateregions for crop production and how zones as well. The broad knowledgecrops will react in terms of yields. The and experience of centers provide aneffects of climate change on biotic unprecedented advantage to assess thefactors in the tropics, such as weeds, products and technologies in differentpests, and pathogens (hereafter agroecologies and weather settings andreferred to as pests), have not received to determine their resilience and abilitymuch attention. to cope in altered climatic situations.Empirical data exist, however, to show Several programs directly focus onthat these biotic factors have major managing pests. For instance, theeffects in determining productivity in breeding of crop varieties for resistancethe tropics. For instance, during the to pests and pathogens has always1997 El Niño phenomenon, the mean been a focus of the CGIAR. With thetemperature on the Peruvian coast uncertainties of CC, this work hasincreased by about 5 °C above the become more relevant. Breeding forannual average, causing a decrease resistance to drought and waterlogging,in potato infestation by the leafminer although not the primary objectives,fly Liriomyza hydobrensis, which also aim at making varieties betterotherwise was a major pest. However, able to tolerate biotic threats, sincethe abundance and infestation severity drought and excess water in the soilof all other pests increased in all crops, both increase the plants’ vulnerability toincluding potato (Kroschel et al. 2010). these factors.The complex consequences of CCparticularly on pests and pathogens A good example is the effort to developare still only imperfectly understood drought-resistant maize cultivars(Gregory et al. 2009). by CIMMYT and IITA. These will not only allow the expansion of maizeCGIAR’s work on climate change production into areas with less reliableWhat are IITA and the other centers of rainfalls but also ensure the continuedthe Consultative Group on International production in regions that are proneAgricultural Research (CGIAR) doing to future water scarcity. Drought-to mitigate the impacts and adapt to tolerant cultivars also reduce the riskthe effects of CC on pests? Historically, of aflatoxin contamination in the field.CGIAR centers have a broad R4D Additional characters are incorporatedfocus; centers have been developing into the drought-tolerant maize, such asknowledge (e.g., pest profiles), products resistance to maize streak disease which(e.g., new crop varieties, biocontrol is endemic in Africa. Similar programsagents against invasive pests), and are ongoing to develop drought-resilient*Coordinator of the CGIAR Systemwide Program on Integrated Pest Management (SP-IPM)convened by IITA.6
  • 9. cassava and cowpea, and yam with the distribution of the species due totolerance for major pests. increasing temperatures. The approach can also be used for other insectThe CGIAR centers are also working species. Hence, CIP created the Insecttowards the development of cropping Life Cycle Modeling software (ILCYM)systems with greater intra- and to facilitate the development of otherinterspecific diversity to increase insect phenology models. With itsresilience to CC-induced threats from support, the phenology model can bebiotic factors. For example, IITA is implemented and allows for spatialpromoting maize–cowpea intercropping simulation of insect activities.to reduce the pest pressure on cowpea. Many centers support the collectionBioversity International is exploring and conservation of plant genetichow intra-specific crop genetic diversity diversity that can be built into newon-farm not only reduces current cultivars to enhance their resistancecrop losses to pests and pathogens, to biotic stresses. Diagnostics capacitybut also decreases the risk of genetic is continuously augmented for thevulnerability and the potential of accurate and timely recognition offuture crop damage, thus enhancing endemic pests, new variants, andthe impact of other IPM strategies invasive pests. Crop biodiversity—and providing farmers with increased landraces and wild relatives that are theadaptive capacity to buffer against reservoirs of genes for abiotic and bioticclimatic changes. factors—is conserved ex situ to protect the species from erosion by CC-inducedCIP developed a temperature-driven changes.phenology model for the potato tubermoth, Phthorimaea operculella that In a collaborative effort, CIP, IITA, icipe,provides good predictions for the and partners in Germany and Africa arepopulation in areas where the pest implementing a project to understandexists at present (Kroschel et al. 2010). the effects of rising temperatures on theLinked with geographic information distribution and severity of major insectsystems (GIS) and atmospheric pests on main food crops. ILCYM will betemperature, the model allows the further improved and adapted to cover asimulation of risk indices on a worldwide wide range of insect species. The resultsscale to predict future changes in will contribute to filling the knowledgeDiverse crop production system. Photo by IITA. 7
  • 10. gap about CC effects on economically streak, soybean rust, and pod borerimportant insect herbivores and their pests, among others.natural enemies. As whiteflies and aphids are consideredIITA is planning to research the effect of to become more problematic withchanges in temperature on the invasion increased temperatures, IITA is alsopotential of major biotic threats in the preparing research on the biocontrol ofGreat Lakes region of East Africa and different whitefly and aphid species inelsewhere: Banana bunchy top virus vegetables and staple crops.(BBTV), Banana Xanthomonas Wilt(BXW), and Panama Disease–Tropical A project has been proposed onRace 4, cassava brown streak virus the bio-enhancement of seeds anddisease, cassava mosaic disease, maize seedlings of cereals and vegetables A BClimate change scenarios for the potato tuber moth, Phthorimaea operculella: (A)Generation index (generations/year) under present temperature conditions, and(B) Change in numbers of generations/year by 2050 using the atmospheric generalcirculation model (Govindasamy et al. 2003).8
  • 11. for East Africa to stimulate the plants’ In collaboration with CABI, communitydefense mechanisms against pests surveillance for pests and diseases willand pathogens expected to increase in take place through the expansion of thenumber, frequency, and severity. This mobile plant clinic network.project also addresses the registrationof biopesticides and the availability Knowledge and decision supportof endophytes to the tissue culture tools for the management of potatoindustry. and sweetpotato pests (diseases and insects) will be developed andCGIAR research programs assessed in relation to the expectedUnder the new CGIAR Research intensification of the agroecosystems inPrograms (CRPs), centers are the humid and subhumid tropics.addressing CC-induced crop healthissues in various ways. Breeding Sustainable management of cassavafor resistance to predicted biotic virus disease in the cassava-basedstresses continues to be a major system will also be studied, and thefocus in CRP3 (roots, tubers, vulnerabilities of these systems to CC-banana) and its subcomponents. induced pest and disease problems willThis component, coordinated by be determined.CIP, specifically recognizes CC and The CIAT-coordinated CRP on CC,agricultural intensification as drivers Agriculture, and Food Security beganfor higher pressure from pests. Hence, operations this year. It will continuethis program aims at developing the activities initiated by the CGIARmanagement strategies for priority Challenge Program on CC. This CRPbiotic threats to these crops. These aims at mainstreaming strategiesinclude the development of improved that address the management of CC-detection and monitoring tools, and induced pest and disease threats amongsurveillance methods for detecting international and national agencies. Itand mapping existing, emerging, will identify and test innovations thatand resurgent molecular pests and enable communities to better managepathogens. It will look into increasing and adapt to climate-related risks fromgeneral plant and root health through biotic factors.the enhancement of the natural diseasesuppressing potential of soils, and the Recommendationsantagonistic pest and disease potential A lot of surprise shifts in ecosystemsof the aboveground agroecosystems. could come. It is therefore important that research capacity and knowledgeThe CRP on Integrated Systems for the bases are maintained to understand andHumid Tropics, led by IITA, will have rapidly react to mitigate any debilitatinga substantial focus on CC, its impact impacts (Shaw and Osborne 2011).on pests, and plans for mitigation.For example, research will establish To accomplish this, it is necessarythe relationship between CC and key to establish good baseline data oncassava pests to develop integrated pest current pest status in agroecosystems.management (IPM) strategies including This knowledge base will serve asthose for whitefly, African root and tuber a reference point to measure thescale, termite, green mite, aphid, and fluctuations and the effectiveness ofmealybug. interventions.Phenology models for insect and mite It is important to determine the keypests and their antagonists on several weather variables that could change ascrops will be developed and validated a consequence of CC and their influenceand their potential for changes in on agroecosystems and pests, andwarming will be determined. establish preemptive coping strategies. 9
  • 12. delivery systems for pest control products (Strand 2000 in Juroszek and Tiedemann 2011). Preventive crop protection measures may become more relevant under CC to reduce the risks (Juroszek and Tiedemann 2011). CC is a global problem that affects all countries. Hence, global cooperation is required. However, given the nature of plant pests and pathogens, more localLarva of the noctuid moth feeding on the or regional strategies need to be putpistil of cowpea. Photo by S. Muranaka, IITA. in place that define potential risks and measures to tackle expected threats.Available CC models could be handy for Investments in early detection systems,predicting CC factors. including border controls to monitor the migration of pests through plants,A diverse scientific base including plant products, and other goods, will bespecialists in pathology, entomology, the key to avoid the spread of invasiveecology, taxonomy, and epidemiology pests and reduce high management andis required. They should work together eradication costs (FAO).to ensure that the outcomes oftheir research are linked to existing New farming practices, differentknowledge, economic forces, and crops, and IPM technologies must becommon understanding (Shaw and developed to control the establishedOsborne 2011). pests and prevent the spread of new ones (FAO).As it generally takes more than 10 yearsto breed a new resistant cultivar of a Governments should considercrop, breeding programs must start well developing country-specific strategiesin advance of the serious risk of a biotic to cope with CC-induced changes andthreat Breeders need to be informed put in place favorable policies for theon the problems which might become introduction and promotion of newimportant in the future (Chakraborty technologies for CHM.et al. 1998 in Juroszek and Tiedemann It is also crucial to create and augment2011). awareness about the effects of CCCrops being bred for abiotic threats such among policymakers and other officialsas drought, waterlogging, and salinity involved in developing agriculturalshould be prepared for the pests that strategies.could flourish under these conditions Referencesand select varieties that can tolerate Chakraborty S and Newton AC. 2011. Plantpests as well. Pathology 60: 2-14. FAO. unknown. ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/010/Changes in occurrence, prevalence, and i0142e/i0142e06.pdfseverity of infections and infestations Govindasamy B et al. 2003. Climate Dynamicswill also affect crop health management 21: 391-404.(CHM) practices. There is a need to Gregory PJ et al. 2009. Journal of Experimentaleffectively disseminate and use those Botany 60: 2827-2838.techniques that are currently underused Juroszek P and von Tiedemann A. 2011. Plant(Juroszek and Tiedemann 2011). Pathology 60: 100-112. Kroschel J et al. 2010. http://www.spipm.cgiar.Significant contributions could be org/ipm-research-briefsmade in improved field monitoring Shaw MW and Osborne TM. 2011. Plantof pests and diseases, and better Pathology 60: 31-43.10
  • 13. Climate change is everyone’s responsibilityClimate change (CC) is a variations in climate (e.g., Using simulation models,long-term change in the permanent increase in attempts the worldstatistical distribution of average temperature) that over are being made toglobal weather patterns might irreversibly affect determine the impact ofover periods of time that biodiversity in a given CC on agroecosystems torange from decades to region. establish appropriate copingmillions of years. Several strategies, particularly In the context offactors, known as climate for the negative impacts. agriculture, sudden andforcers, usually natural Although this appears abnormal changes inevents such as volcanic simple, it is the most weather could changeeruptions, earthquakes, complex issue confronting the suitability of a givensolar radiation, and ocean researchers, policymakers, environment for cultivationcurrents shape climate governments, and of crops. This could be duechange. entrepreneurs worldwide. to abiotic factors such asHowever, the climate forcer drought, heat (cold), or Communities are workingof the 21st century CC— excessive water directly together to bridge thecarbon dioxide (CO2)—is linked to weather or gaps and establish globalmainly human-induced and simply due to increased coordination networks toattributed to the burning pests and diseases that mitigate the impact ofof fossil fuels and tropical would severely impede CC. IITA and other CGIARdeforestation. The property performance of the crops. centers, together withof CO2 to trap heat within Since crops, diseases national and internationalthe earth’s atmosphere (pathogens), and pests organizations, areis contributing to global (including vectors) are contributing to thesewarming. Thus, a rise in intimately associated endeavors with a primaryCO2 levels increases the and influenced by the focus on conservingwarming effect. Trapped environment, any shift in biodiversity and improvingheat in the atmosphere these factors will alter the the resilience ofwarms oceans, melts ice balance, and could have smallholder agriculture incaps, raises sea levels, a positive impact (e.g., the developing countriesand increases average decreased pest pressure) in Africa, Asia, and Latinsurface temperature, all of or negative impact (e.g., America.which are affecting normal increased pest pressure) onweather patterns. overall crop performance.Some of the abnormalchanges experiencedover the last two decadesinclude severe andprolonged droughts,extreme storms andprolonged rainfall pattern,high temperatures, andheat waves. These suddenand extreme variationsin weather patterns dueto ‘global warming’ haveprofound effects on livingorganisms on earth.The altered conditionscreate risks as well asopportunities favoring Life on earth is a dynamic process and intimatelycertain living beings over connected to the biotic forms in cohabitation, farmingothers and contribute to systems, and environment. A shift in one parametershifts in niches. In addition, alters the delicate balance in an interconnected world.it could lead to long-term Source: L. Kumar, IITA. 11
  • 14. fEATURESTowards a healthy bananaTC industry in East AfricaThomas Dubois, t.dubois@cgiar.orgTissue culture banana modified banana. In other words, the TCBanana in smallholder farmer systems technology can help banana farmers tois traditionally propagated by means make the transition from subsistence toof suckers. These contain soil-borne income generation.pests and diseases, and by using them, However, TC plantlets are relativelyfarmers unknowingly distribute and fragile and require appropriateperpetuate pest and disease problems. management practices to fully harness their potential, especially during thePlants produced by tissue culture (TC), initial growth stages shortly after beingbecause they are produced axenically transplanted to the field. In East Africa,in the laboratory, are material that is TC plantlets are often planted in fieldsfree from pests and diseases with the burdened with biotic pest pressures andexception of fastidious bacteria and abiotic constraints.viruses. A SWOT analysisThere are many added benefits to The importance of the private sectorusing TC plants: (1) they are more The adoption of TC technology is stillvigorous, allowing for faster and relatively low in East Africa. In Kenya,superior yields; (2) more uniform, coverage of TC banana is estimatedallowing for better marketing; and (3) at 5–7% of the total banana acreage;can be produced in huge quantities in adoption rates are significantly lower inshort periods of time, allowing for faster countries such as Uganda, Burundi, andand better distribution of existing and Tanzania, although reliable data do notnew cultivars, including genetically exist.Young tissue culture plantation in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo by T. Dubois, IITA.12
  • 15. (t/ha/cycle) 60 50 tissue culture suckers 40 30 20 10 0 low input high inputCumulative yield (t/ha/cycle) of a plantation derived from tissue culture (orange bars)compared to one derived from conventional planting material (blue bars), over 5cropping cycles and under two management regimes (low input and high input). Everylittle block represents one crop cycle. Data based on 1,600 plants total.In East Africa, the technology is during the production process, (2) plantbooming under the impetus from the health certification, and (3) regulatoryprivate sector. At least 10 commercial procedures. Such conditions areprivate laboratories have sprung up especially important to avoid spread ofin the last decade in Burundi, Kenya, viruses, which are easily transmittedUganda, and Tanzania. Collectively, through TC plantlets.they produce at least 2 million plants/year, although exact numbers seem to For instance, Banana bunchy top virusfluctuate widely and are hard to come (BBTV) is on the list of the 100 mostby. Most of these companies manage dangerous invasive species worldwide.the entire production chain, from It is widely distributed in Central Africasourcing the mother plants to weaning and also in Burundi and Rwanda inthe TC plantlets. Despite the steep entry East Africa, yet implementation of virusbarrier, the TC business is very lucrative indexing schemes is largely absent infor the entrepreneur who engages in East Africa. It is important to put inplantlet production. In some countries, place standard procedures for ensuringuniversities and research organizations the production and distribution of high-are also involved in the commercial quality, virus-free planting material,production of TC banana. and to establish independent agencies that set and implement standards andLack of quality standards and virus improve the skills of personnel. In Eastindexing Africa, certification schemes need to beOne of the biggest dangers for regionally harmonized, especially withsustainable commercial production of TC the transnational movement of plantsplants is the lack of several essentials: between the countries, so that there is(1) standards for quality management no weak link in the region. 13
  • 16. Unregulation—a potential danger to the Another important requirement forspread of diseases TC producers is sustainable access toAt present, the commercial production virus-free and true-to-type motherof TC banana plantlets is largely plants and this is currently lacking.unregulated. Not only are TC banana The establishment of certified motherplantlets being moved in very large plant gardens as a common resource,quantities across borders; uncertified either by governmental agenciesmother material is also crossing or a consortium of commercial TCborders. This practice is potentially producers, would provide this essentialrisky, and could perpetuate infected requirement.sources and cause new outbreaks ofdisease. Contrary to a general perception, especially among donors, it is notIn the ideal situation, there need merely the standards themselvesto be certification standards for the that are a constraint, but also a lackquality and health of TC plants and the of knowledge on how procedures aremonitoring of TC producer operations. actually implemented along the valueThese are largely ignored because chain, through certification schemes.of poor awareness, and the lack of The equipment for virus indexing hascapacity and regulations required for become relatively cheap and technicalthe implementation of such standards. skills are quite easily acquired. TheirTo transform the system, governments costs can be offset, e.g., through aand/or the TC industry could consider service-based fee to private sectorcommon facilities to implement stakeholders.certification schemes. For instance, anaccredited governmental or independent Also, emphasis could equally be placedvirus indexing laboratory, established as on certifying general operationala commercial service for TC operators, procedures in a private TC laboratory.would leverage costs and improve TC Currently, the quality of TC plantletsstandards. varies significantly, and several producers are struggling with off-types and accidental mixtures of varieties that become apparent only after being planted in the field, resulting in negative perceptions about TC. Certification schemes need to be implemented in such a way that they do not become burdensome to producers or create bureaucratic barriers. Several quality certification schemes used for clonal crops, including banana, from other regions can be considered to develop an appropriate scheme for East Africa. Ultimately, it is not only the commercial sector that should self- regulate; governmental bodies need to take responsibility. Nurseries Nurseries for TC plants are essential, as they act as a distribution hub connecting producers to the farmers. They also Plantain for sale in market. Photo by IITA. act as focus centers for farmers and14
  • 17. farmers’ groups, and are therefore aneasily approachable venue for training Test tubes to farms: how it’s doneand other interventions. The surveyby IITA and University of Hohenheim Tissue culture plantlets are madeof all TC nurseries in Burundi, Kenya, in specialized laboratories, and theand Uganda, found that nurseries in technology consists of a few basicEast Africa face an array of problems. steps: (1) the apical meristem isRelationships between producers and isolated from the mother plant andnurseries, especially those related to induced to form shoots, (2) the shootstiming, quality, and quantity of plantlet are multiplied, (3) when plants aresupply, are often suboptimal. needed, the multiplied shoots are put on a root-inducing medium, (4)At the nursery level, there are three the young plants are transferred to amain operational issues: access to screenhouse for hardening, and (5) thewater, credit, and the transport of plants are planted in farmers’ fields.plantlets. The location of the nurseriesis also crucial. Nurseries need to beclose to the producer and to the market,otherwise they might fail. Clear drivers is subsidized. Virtually all TC plantletsfor the success of a nursery are good are being bought by developmentalagricultural practices and, interestingly, agencies, which then pass on thesea diversification into crops outside plantlets to often untrained farmers,banana. free of charge, and without embedding this transfer in an encompassingIn TC banana value chains, nurseries training program or input package (e.g.,have different roles across countries in fertilizers).East Africa. In Uganda, nurseries arerun as businesses independent of the Empowerment of farmers in the valueTC operators and of the farmers. In chain through farmers’ groupsBurundi, the nurseries are owned and Organizing banana farmers into groupsmanaged by the producers. In Kenya, has long been considered advantageous,nurseries are run as entities separate because of increased buying and sellingfrom the producers, and most of them power, reduced economic and socialare owned by farmers’ groups that act risk, increased economies of scale, andas the customers for these nurseries. improved access to credit and inputs byThe business model in Kenya seems to formally certified groups.hold the secret for a sustainable andvigorous link between producers and The study by IITA and the Universityfarmers. of Hohenheim of the farmer-to-market linkage in Uganda demonstrated thatDistorted value chains farmers in marketing groups obtainOne danger for a healthy commercial higher prices than their ungroupedTC sector is the lack of sustainable colleagues. The certification of farmers’market pathways to deliver the plants groups implemented by IITA’s nationalto the farmers. Especially in Burundi partners, ISABU (LInstitut des Sciencesand Uganda, outlet markets for TC Agronomiques du Burundi) in Burundiplantlets are mainly governmental and VEDCO (Volunteer Efforts andand nongovernmental organizations, a Development Concerns) in Uganda,situation which seems unsustainable inthe long term. has made them eligible for savings and credit schemes. Some have evenThe sustainability of the banana TC engaged in other commercial activities,industry is especially worrisome in such as the start-up of a cateringBurundi, where the entire value chain service. 15
  • 18. Training of farmers group in business skills in Uganda. Photo by Moses Lule.The importance of a training package training program was monitored. So far,In East Africa, the distribution of a total of 851 separate training eventssuperior planting material alone will have been implemented in Burundi,not ensure a good crop. Commercial Kenya, and Uganda, and through thefarmers are skilled in juggling the partnership, 10 new farmers’ groupsinputs and effort needed to produce and 5 new nurseries have beencrops and make a profit but smallholder established.farmers are constrained by factors suchas a lack of land and capital, access Location, location, locationto technology, and a good marketing TC banana plantlets come at a cost, andinfrastructure. Therefore, efficient might not be economically beneficialdistribution systems will be needed throughout all banana-producing areasto deliver the TC plants as part of a in East Africa. Location is everything.package, including training and accessto microcredit. IITA, in collaboration with Makerere University, conducted a cost-benefitIITA and its national partners, ISABU, analysis of the technology basedJKUAT (Jomo Kenyatta University on a comprehensive quantitativeof Agriculture and Technology), and questionnaire with 240 farmers acrossVEDCO, have been implementing hands- four districts in Uganda, and comparedon, comprehensive training schemes it with the use of conventional plantingfor farmers as well as the operators of material.TC banana nurseries. Training schemesencompass modules in agronomy, Both production costs and revenuesmarketing, business and financing, and were consistently higher for TC-derivedfor farmers, group formation and group material than for suckers. However,dynamics. Participants were followed banana prices varied greatly withfor over a year, and their ability to district and declined significantly withimplement the skills learned during the increasing distance from the main16
  • 19. market (see graph). Also, production Sound socioeconomic analyses arecosts decreased significantly the further crucial to guide policy strategies, learnaway the farms were from Kampala due from successes already achieved, andto better agroecological conditions and identify important constraints for athe much reduced pressure from pests wider dissemination of TC banana in theand diseases. As a result, although both region.TC plantlets and suckers were profitableto the farmer, TC material was more Earlier studies on the impacts of TCprofitable than suckers closer to the banana in the region have eithermain banana market. employed ex ante methods before any meaningful adoption was actuallyIn districts with low banana prices and observable, or they have usedat a greater distance from the main relatively simple and ad hoc qualitativebanana market, farmers could receive methodological tools, which do not allowsimilar gains by planting suckers rather robust and representative statements.than TC plants. For a farmer in Uganda, The large body of subjective ‘gray’it makes economical sense to grow TC literature, sometimes unconditionallybanana close to the main urban market. and unilaterally promoting the benefitsAn objective ex-post assessment of TC banana, without consideringDespite a booming commercial sector, the quality of the plant material,there is only anecdotal evidence that input package, and market access,farmers who have adopted TC banana risks having an adverse effect on thebenefit tremendously in terms of adoption of the technology in thehigher yields and household incomes. long term.gross margins (Ugsh/ha/year)7,000,000 tissue culture suckers6,000,0005,000,0004,000,0003,000,0002,000,0001,000,000 0 Luwero Mukono Masaka Rukungiri 10 km further away from the market 350 kmGross margins (in Ugandan shillings)/ha/year of banana plantations derived from tissueculture (yellow bars) compared to conventional planting material (orange bars) inUganda, the further away from the main banana market (Kampala). 17
  • 20. The University of Göttingen, in and requirements. This study findscollaboration with IITA, is currently that farmers’ education, access toanswering the following main agricultural information, knowledge ofresearch questions: (1) What are the the location of a TC nursery within adeterminants of TC banana adoption reasonable distance, and affiliation toamong farmers? (2) What are the social groups significantly increase theimpacts of this technology on on-farm likelihood of the TC technology beingproductivity, household income and adopted.income distribution, and poverty andfood security? (3) How do institutional This study also highlights the positivefactors in technology delivery and role of access to credit and of genderproduct marketing influence adoption in the adoption of TC material. Farmersand impact? with access to credit and female-headed households are more likely to adopt TCSome of these research questions have plants. The latter finding is particularlybeen answered. In Kenya, a substantial interesting from a policy perspective,share of the population has heard about because it shows that, when there is anTC banana and is, therefore, generally equal chance for both men and womenaware of the technology’s existence, to acquire sufficient knowledge aboutalthough only a few have had a chance an innovation, women are more likely toto fully understand its performance adopt it.Banana market in Ikire, Nigeria. Photo by O. Adebayo, IITA.18
  • 21. GHU: Gateway for the safeexchange of germplasmLava Kumar, l.kumar@cgiar.orgInternational exchange of germplasm:an essential step for sharinginternational public goodsSince its inception in 1967, IITA hasbeen actively involved in the collection,conservation, and use of the plantgenetic resources of important crops,such as banana and plantain, cassava,cowpea, maize, soybean, and yam,and their wild relatives from Africa andother parts of the world. Using thisgermplasm, IITA’s crop improvementprograms, based in several locationsin sub-Saharan Africa, have been Seed testing. Photo by IITA.developing high-yielding, nutritionally Germplasm exchange: benefits and risks Crop germplasm—seeds, has an inherent risk of in 1993. The accidental plants, or plant parts introducing exotic plant introduction of the Banana suitable for propagation— pathogens (viruses, fungi, bunchy top virus in Malawi is a high-value commodity bacteria, phytoplasma, has affected banana very frequently exchanged and other pathogenic production in over 3000 for agricultural research, microbes), weeds, insects, ha and completely wiped crop diversification, and nematodes (pests). out production in Nkhota food production, and Due to a lack of competition Khota and Nkhatabay. In commerce. International and resistance, introduced addition, pests associated exchanges of useful pests often result in with the germplasm germplasm have been devastating epidemics in may reduce its longevity the major factor in territories in which they did during storage and may the diversification and not exist before, leading have negative effects improvement of global to severe economic losses. on crop performance agriculture. For instance, The cassava green mite, (e.g., nematodes in about 30% of the world’s Mononychellus tanajoa, a yam tubers). Therefore, food production is derived native of Latin America, several safeguards from crops originating was accidentally introduced have been established in other countries. into Africa in the 1970s to prevent the spread Cassava, first introduced and spread to almost all of pests through the from Latin America by the cassava-producing movement of germplasm the Portuguese in 1558, regions, reducing yields from one area to another. has been established as by 30−50%. This pest These quarantine or one of the major food was controlled through the phytosanitary measures staples in sub-Saharan introduction of a natural are enforced through Africa. Germplasm enemy from Latin America, national and international exchange, however, Typhlodromalus aripo, legislation. 19
  • 22. Scheme for phytosanitary management of germplasm. Source: L. Kumar, IITA.superior crop varieties resistant to against the introduction of exotic pestspests, diseases, and drought. into countries where they do not occur; (e) ensures phytosanitary managementThese are regularly exchanged with of plant genetic resources conservednational and international programs in the IITA genebank; and (f) providesfor crop improvement and agriculture capacity building and awarenessdevelopment. creation on phytosanitary measures.Germplasm safety matters GHU operates within the framework ofAs part of the measures to prevent the the procedures for the introduction andinadvertent spread of pests through export of germplasm established byexchange activities, IITA has established the government of the host country ina Germplasm Health Unit (GHU). The which IITA’s operations are based. ForGHU is responsible for the production, instance, all the exchange operations ofmaintenance, and exchange of healthy IITA’s activities in Nigeria are organized(pest-free) germplasm in accordance in accordance with the legislation of thewith the international requirements on Nigerian Agriculture Quarantine Serviceplant protection. These are covered (NAQS) of the Federal Department ofby the International Plant Protection Agriculture, Nigeria.Convention (IPPC) under the auspicesof FAO, and those set up by the Ensuring exchange of clean germplasmInter-African Phytosanitary Council Crops researched at IITA comprise those(IAPSC) and National Plant Protection propagated through botanical seeds orOrganizations (NPPOs) to safeguard true seeds (maize, soybean, cowpea,agriculture and natural resources from and other legumes of importancethe risks associated with the entry, to African farming) and crops thatestablishment, or spread of plant pests. are propagated through vegetative propagules, including stems (e.g.,GHU (a) facilitates germplasm exchange cassava), tubers (e.g., yam), and inin support of IITA’s international crop vitro plants (e.g., banana and plantain,improvement programs; (b) inspects cassava, and yam).for pests and certifies the health statusof germplasm; (c) ensures compliance Each type of germplasm demands awith the national regulations on plant unique set of procedures for assessingintroductions and exports; (d) guards the health status of the material. At20
  • 23. IITA, this work goes on from production for the presence of pests. Detectionto postharvest to the point when the methods used for this purpose includematerial is dispatched. visual inspection of dry seeds, seed washing, agar and blotter tests, seedPlant material generated for soaking, and seedling symptom testsinternational exchange is inspected which aid in identifying any pest-with the technical officers of NPPO infested material. Additional techniquesduring the active growth stage in the are used for pest identification includingfield or screenhouse to ensure the culturing techniques, microscopy, andselection of pest-free material. Thesorted materials (seeds or vegetative biochemical analyses of samples bypropagules) are then brought to the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assayGHU laboratories for critical inspection (ELISA), polymerase chain reaction Seeds as vehicles of pests True seeds (botanical seeds) offer through planting material. Therefore, the safest form in which to exchange exchanging planting material in the germplasm. Despite their ability to serve form of stem cuttings (e.g., cassava and as potential vehicles for the spread of sweetpotato), tubers (e.g., yam and pests, it is relatively easy to sort out Irish potato), or suckers (e.g., banana contaminated seeds from healthy seeds. and plantain) poses the maximum risk Furthermore, seeds can be treated with of spreading pests. As a general rule, chemicals (e.g., Mancozeb at 2 g kg–1) quarantine regulations prohibit the to eliminate several types of fungi and exchange of vegetative propagules unless bacteria. Only a small fraction (about stocks are derived from plants certified as 10%) of the >1000 plant-infecting pest-free. Micropropagation or the in vitro virus species is capable of being spread propagation of plants using modern tissue through seeds (e.g.. Cowpea aphid- culture methods offers the safest option borne mosaic virus in cowpea is seed for exchanging vegetatively propagated transmitted, but not Cowpea golden crops. Procedures employed during in mosaic virus). Virus infesting seeds can vitro propagation result in the elimination be eliminated by grow-out tests, and of all pests, but not viruses and some seeds harvested from uninfected plants fastidious microbes. Special procedures offer the safest approach. are used to eliminate viruses from in vitro plants. Therefore, where possible, IITA In contrast, almost all the pests present exchanges only in vitro planting material in the vegetative tissues (stems, tubers, (tissue culture) produced under aseptic roots, suckers, in vitro plants) are spread conditions. Seeds pose less risk than clonally propagated materials Less risk High risk -Scope for phytosanitation -Phytosanitation is difficult and demands -Only few viruses can be special process transmitted through seed - All types of pathogens spread 21
  • 24. (PCR), and genomic sequencing. Onlymaterials that are free of the regulated Categorization of pestsand unregulated quarantine pests are Pests are classified into (a) regulatedreleased for international exchange. pests and (b) unregulated pests.GHU also monitors for genetically Regulated pests are further classified into quarantine pests and regulatedmodified organisms (GMO) to comply nonquarantine pests.with the Cartagena biosafety protocol,also under the regulation of NPPOs. This Pests whose introduction into anis done mainly by seeking an additional area can result in severe destructiondeclaration from the exporting parties are classified as quarantine pests.on the GMO status of the planting Territories can be free of quarantinematerial as stipulated in the conditions pests (e.g., Fusarium oxysporum f. cubense Race 4 present in some partsof the import permit issued by the of Asia but not in Africa) or presentNPPO. Diagnostic capacity exists to but not widely distributed (Cassavamonitor germplasm for traces of GMOs brown streak viruses, Xanthomonasby PCR assays, targeting constitutive campestris pv. musacearum responsibleelements of transgene constructs, for banana bacterial wilt, and Bananasuch as promoters of Agrobacterium bunchy top virus occur in Africa, buttumefaciens or Cauliflower mosaic virus are restricted to certain regions).35S gene, that are widely used for Quarantine pests are rigorouslygenerating transgenic plants. controlled through official monitoring measures. Regulated nonquarantineComplying with regulations pests are widely distributed and theirGermplasm exchange activity presence in germplasm causes a losscommences with the application of of planting material or initiates a new disease cycle (e.g., Cucumber mosaica permit from a host country for virus infects a range of hosts, includinggermplasm import (for use in IITA’s banana, and is widely distributed).R4D programs) or germplasm export Regulated quarantine pests are(to partners, collaborators and other monitored by specific procedures.stakeholders, including IITA’s missions In general, all programs for thein other countries). This is an essential production of clean planting materials,process under the Convention of including those meant for internationalBiological Diversity (CBD) treaty that exchanges, ensure freedom from quarantine pests and regulatedregards biodiversity as a national nonquarantine pests.treasure, and requires authorizationfrom the respective governments The categorization of pests is usually country-specific. For instance, NAQSfor free exchanges. Every country classifies pests under three categories:has a nodal agency tasked withissuing permits for the movement of Category A: Pathogens which are not present in Nigeria and/or in anygermplasm. country in West AfricaIn addition, GHU applies for Category B: Pathogens which are ofphytosanitary certificates (PC) for the restricted local distribution in Nigeriaexport of material. The PC is issued and/or West Africa against which field inspection and or/seed healthby NPPO after the condition has been testing methods can provide adequatesatisfied that the material being protectionexported meets the phytosanitary Category C: Internationally widespreadstandards of the IPPC and the importing pathogens which affect seed quality.country. GHU invariably complies withnational regulations in obtaining these Pest lists and pest categorization are often updated.two documents for all seeds or plantmaterials sent or received. Similarly,22
  • 25. Dangerous pathogens on the move The following pathogens provide the greatest threat to food security in sub-Saharan Africa. Cassava brown streak viruses -Emerging virus disease of cassava -Destroy tuberous roots -Occurs in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique -Suspected in DRC, Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Gabon, and Madagascar Banana bunchy top disease -BBTV-infected plants become unproductive -Major constraint to fruit production and the production and distribution of quality planting material -Widespread in Central Africa Banana bacterial wilt (BXW) -BXW affects fruit production and quality, and kills the plant -Widespread in East Africa Present Present Present Suspected No No No information information information Cassava brown streak Banana bunchy top Banana bacterial wiltwhen material is imported it is subjected has exchanged germplasm are Bénin,to post-entry inspection to ensure its Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, and Southcompliance with the conditions specified Africa. Each of these countries hasin the import permit. Depending on the specific legislation. However, proceduresneed, material is held in the post-entry for health monitoring have the sameisolation facility until the necessary underlying principle, i.e., the exclusionclearances are obtained. Material that of pests and the prevention of pestssatisfies all the conditions is released for from spreading.IITA’s use. Phytosanitary protection of geneticFrom 2005 to 2010, GHU, from IITA‘s resourcesIbadan Station in Nigeria in liaison GHU ensures the phytosanitarywith NAQS, has facilitated about 492 management of the germplasm ofexchanges, 157 imports, and 335 food crops (about 27,000 accessions)exports of crop and other plant material conserved in the IITA genebankto 69 countries, 34 of which are in and also in the in situ germplasmAfrica (Fig. 1). USA, India, Colombia, collections of breeding programs.Mexico, and Japan are among the top Germplasm conserved in the genebank5 non-African countries. Within Africa, is systematically evaluated for itsthe top 5 countries with which IITA health status and clean germplasm 23
  • 26. Fig. 1. Germplasm export and import events facilitated by GHU to various countriesaround the world. Source: L. Kumar, IITA. is conserved for distribution by IITA’s Genetic Resources Center (GRC). Contributing to phytosanitary capacity development in SSA Together with the Virology and Molecular Diagnostic Unit and GRC at IITA, Ibadan, GHU augments diagnostic procedures for monitoring pests in germplasm; develops a reference pest collection and DNA bank to use as controls; establishes DNA barcode databases of the pests of African food crops; and augments procedures for salvaging clean germplasm. GHU plays an active role in developing the skills of NPPOs in the testing for germplasm health and the production of pest-free germplasm via training courses and short-term assignments. It also creates awareness on quarantine pests, quality standards for planting material, and the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. Knowledge and technologies developed are disseminated through training programs, the publication of protocol manuals, information flyers and a website (http://www.iita.org/ germplasm-health). The unit also collaborates with NPPOs and IAPSCInformation dissemination through exhibits as a technical partner to developand hands-on demos, IITA Open Day.Photo by L. Kumar, IITA. phytosanitary capacity in Africa.24
  • 27. Dangers of unknownsCertain basic knowledge on to occur in coastal zones of southernpests is necessary to implement Africa for nearly a century. Like FSD,phytosanitary measures. Examples aboveground symptoms of CBSD areare the characteristics of the pest cryptic and difficult to recognize. Dueand its variants, its effect on the to insufficient knowledge on CBSDhost (symptoms), geographic and poor awareness, it is conceivabledistribution, alternative hosts, that cassava was moved, albeitmodes of spread, vectors, and inadvertently, from CBSD-affectedthe availability of diagnostic tools. areas to other cassava-producingInsufficient information compromises regions in Africa contributing to thethe phytosanitary inspection and virus spread in the continent.demands very stringent measures onthe production of planting material. These two examples depict the limitations of phytosanitary monitoringFor instance, frog skin disease and the potential risk for pest escape(FSD), a virus-like disease of cassava if adequate precautions are not taken.prevalent in certain parts of Latin To circumvent the limitations inAmerica, is difficult to diagnose diagnosis of uncharacterized, not-so-due to insufficient knowledge on well-characterized, and cryptic pests,its etiology and the lack of reliable monitoring programs are increasinglydiagnostic tools. Moreover, FSD relying on broad-spectrum diagnosticdoes not induce characteristic tools, including deep sequencing,symptoms in the aboveground parts which identify a range of relatedof the plant further complicating species in the same genus, family, orthe detection of infected sources. order.To avoid the risk of spreading FSD,in vitro plantlets generated from Although thesecassava plants produced in FSD-free approaches reducefields are moved. However, only a the risk of potentialfew organizations are capable of pest escape, they areproducing plants in this manner. expensive, laborious,To obtain useful germplasm from and detect everyany agencies that are incapable of species includingproducing planting material under benign endosymbiontsstringent phytosanitary conditions, and pose challengesthe material from the source requires to decisions onthat it be sent to a third party germplasm exchange.capable of producing FSD-free plants. Another approachThis procedure severely delays the depends on theexchange of material. production of “clean” planting materialSimilarly, the etiology of cassava using sources frombrown streak disease (CBSD) was pest-free areas.unraveled in the late 1990s and GHU adopts bothsucceeded by the development of these approaches todiagnostic tests for cassava brown increase confidence instreak viruses (CBSVs) that cause this germplasm health anddisease. But CBSD had been known safety. 25
  • 28. Conservation of germfree-germplasmDominique Dumet, d.dumet@cgiar.org and Lava Kumar,l.kumar@cgiar.orgPlant genetic resources (germplasm) In the mid-1970s, IITA has initiatedare the foundation for sustainable an ex situ conservation of germplasmagriculture and global food security. of important African food cropsThey possess genes that offer resistance which are held in trust on behalf ofto pests and diseases and resilience humanity under the auspices of theto abiotic stresses, such as drought United Nations. To date, IITA’s Genetictolerance, soil erosion, and other Resources Center (GRC) conservesconstraints. over 27,000 accessions of six main collections of African staple crops,However, genetic resources are eroding namely, cowpea and other Vigna,at unprecedented rates as a result of soybean, maize, cassava, banana,the loss of habitat, outbreaks of pests and yam. Germplasm is distributedand diseases, and abiotic stresses. worldwide for use in research for foodTherefore, it has become imperative and agriculture. Depending on theto conserve genetic resources for species’ reproductive biology and modeagricultural sustainability and the of dissemination, collections are storedpreservation of global biodiversity. in field, seed, or in vitro genebanks. However, germplasm (seeds or vegetative propagules) infested with pathogens such as, viruses, fungi, bacteria, and nematodes, insects, mites and even weeds (hereafter all referred to as pests) can spread along with the planting materials. Because of this risk, planting materials are traditionally sourced from healthy-looking plants and as an additional safety measure they are treated with chemicals to eliminate bacteria, fungi, nematodes, insects and other pests. However, viral pathogens are difficult to detect and pose challenges to “clean” (pest-free) planting material production procedures. IITAs collections were sourced over 35 years from several countries in Africa and other parts of the world. Knowledge on viruses infecting crops conserved in the IITA genebank and the means for their detection andSeeds of important grain legumes are production of clean planting materialconserved in IITAs Genetic Resources have dramatically improved over theCenter. Photo by IITA. past two decades. To ensure that26
  • 29. planting material involves in vitro procedures using meristem culture. In cassava, source plants are subjected to thermotherapy (exposing plants to 27-30 °C) from 1 to 3 weeks prior to meristem excision and in vitro propagation. In vitro plants are indexed for viruses and plants that test positive are discarded while virus-negative plants are further propagated for conservation in the in vitro genebank. So far, over 2000 accessions of clonal crops have been subjected to this process to derive virus-free plants. Production and conservation of "clean" planting material is expensive; however it improves the turn-around time for processing germplasm for exchange and dramatically improves its use. In addition, clean germplasm improves the viability of the material conserved in the genebank and prevents the risk ofConservation of virus-free germplasm. the accidental spread of pests from one region to another through the plantinggermplasm conserved is free of pests, materials.particularly viruses, a systematicapproach was taken to assess thehealth status of every accession in thegenebank and produce clean plantingmaterials for conservation.For seed-propagated crops (maizeand legumes), clean seed productionrequires planting accessions incontained screenhouses. Emergingplants are monitored for symptoms andeach plant is tested using diagnostictools for all known seed-transmittedviruses occurring in the territory wherethey were last grown. Plants that testpositive for virus and/or showing virus-like symptoms are destroyed. Seedsare harvested from the virus-negative,healthy-looking plants. Clean seedsare then deposited in the germplasmcollections. This work started in 2008,and so far over 4000 accessions oflegumes have been evaluated and cleanseed material produced have beenconserved in the genebank.For clonally propagated crops (cassava,yam and banana), production of clean Researcher in genebank. Photo by IITA. 27
  • 30. In Kanti Rawal’s footsteps:wild cowpea from NigeriaRemy S. Pasquet (rpasquet@icipe.org), Dominique Dumet(d.dumet@cgiar.org), and Sunday E. Aladele (sundayaladele@yahoo.com)Cowpea, Vigna unguiculata(L.) Walp. is the majorlegume crop in the Africanlowlands. It is the mainprotein supply of half ofthe population in sub-Saharan Africa.Nigeria is the mostpopulous country in WestAfrica, and also producesthe largest amountof cowpea. Its urbanpopulation is growing inleaps and bounds, andthus, it is also importing alot of cowpea from all itsneighbors. Cowpea: dietary protein for millions in West Africa. PhotoCowpea is considered by by IITA.several authors as havingbeen domesticated inNigeria or within a larger Rawal traveled 38,000 Regarding Nigeria, Rawalarea including Nigeria (i.e., km around Nigeria and (1975) wrote in theVaillancourt and Weeden Niger. He collected wild abstract of his paper: “As1992). In addition, the cowpea accessions as well in the case with manyfirst wild cowpea accession as numerous accessions of cultivated species, Vignawas collected in northern domesticated cowpea. unguiculata (L.) Walp.Nigeria by J.M. Dalziel, has a wild form growinga British botanist, and According to his map (see next page), he in secondary foreststhis led Piper (1913) to collected wild cowpea in and derived savannahspropose the African origin 68 places (Rawal 1975). and a companionof cowpea1. Unfortunately, over the weed form adapted toTo some extent, this partly years, the passport data disturbed habitats suchexplains why Nigeria was of these accessions were as roadside ditchesthe first country surveyed lost and, today, the place and fields. Evidence offor cowpea accessions of collection is known for introgressive hybridizationby IITA’s then Genetic only four out of the 40 between weedy andResources Unit. Between accessions still maintained cultivated forms has1970 and 1973, Kanti at IITA. been presented. The1 The African origin of cowpea was proposed 50 years earlier, when authors were split between thosesupporting an African origin and those supporting an Indian origin. Piper, while successfully crossinga domesticated cowpea and a wild plant from Nigeria, definitely proved the African origin of cowpea.After 1913, the African origin of cowpea was not challenged anymore and definitely accepted.28
  • 31. N i g E R Wild Colonizer weed Companion weedGeographic distribution of the wild, the colonizer weed, and the companion weed formsof V. unguiculata in Nigeria and Niger. The cowpeas are cultivated commercially in areasbetween latitudes 8°N and 15°N (Rawal 1975).zone of extensive natural first subspecies belongs to the diversity of cowpeahybridization corresponds the secondary gene pool and wild Vigna in theto the cultivation area of of cowpea and the second near future. To avoid thenorthern Nigeria and Niger to the primary gene pool. irreversible loss of Vignaand may well extend to However, since Rawal’s and to secure highly viableUpper Volta (now Burkina material is mostly lost2, Vigna diversity, the GlobalFaso) and Senegal.” the assessment of the Crop Diversity Trust in diversity of wild cowpea association with IITA andRawal gave very good from Nigeria is impossible Nigerias National Centredescriptions of what he in the absence of new for Genetic Resources andcalled the wild and weed collection missions in the Biotechnology (NACGRAB)forms. His wild forms country. organized a collectingwere samples of subsp. mission for wild Vignabaoulensis (A.Chev.) In addition, factors germplasm in 2010.Pasquet; the weed forms such as climate change, The mission coveredwere samples of subsp. increased incidence of 27,000 km in Nigeriaunguiculata var. spontanea pests and diseases, between 14 October and(Schweinf.) Pasquet. We cultural change, or the 7 December and collected(Pasquet and Padulosi in adoption of improved lines 260 accessions (242 ofpress) believe that the are also likely to affect var. spontanea and 18 of2 iiTA still holds 40 accessions, but this could be only one-third of the original number. 29
  • 32. Fig. 1. Localities where subsp. baoulensis (red dots) and var. spontanea (green dots)were observed.subsp. baoulensis (Fig. 1). of Rawal’s survey and which is ”an uncultivatedIn addition, 13 populations our own in terms of plant taxon that benefitswere sampled for further geographical distribution from human impactspopulation genetic of both subspecies. or ’disturbance’," var.analysis. spontanea is a weed In the northern ranges, mainly encountered inIn comparison with the we often encountered disturbed places, such asRawal missions that took wild cowpea in fields in fields and gardens, atplace in 1971–73, we or at roadsides. Wild roadsides, and sometimessurveyed more localities cowpea plants are easywithin a shorter time. within towns (sewage to spot in the field, asUnlike Rawal, we focused ditches, grassy places); it they twine 2–3 m aboveon wild cowpea only and was not observed within soil level on sorghum orbenefited from a much Yankari National Park. pearl millet stems (Fig.better road network, However, to some extent, 2). Domesticated cowpeaespecially in northern var. spontanea is also a are prostrate or shortNigeria where we were and erect but usually not weed in the economicdriving more than 600 twining. sense of the word since itkm/day. In the end, there is usually pulled out fromis a general agreement Based on the ecological the fields by farmers. Itbetween the results definition of a weed, usually appears as isolated30
  • 33. plants or isolated patchesof fewer than 20 plants oras a few plants forgottenby the farmer whileweeding.In some places, we foundfields with as many wildcowpea as domesticatedcowpea (SP 815, KatsinaState, for example). Wesuspect that, in theseplaces, farmers wereprimarily interested infodder. Var. spontaneais obviously a goodfodder plant and farmersprimarily cultivatingcowpea for fodder wouldnot choose to lose timeweeding wild cowpea.Since experimentshave proved pollenflow between wild and Fig. 2. Wild cowpea (var. spontanea) twining on pearldomesticated cowpea millet (SP 916, Kano State, left) and sorgum (SP 913,at over 30 m distances Kaduna State, right) stems. Source: R. Pasquet, icipe.(Fatokun and Ng2007), we checked ifdomesticated cowpeawas grown within 30 mof the collecting sitesfor wild cowpea (Fig. 3).This occurred frequently(70%) in the northernpart of the range whichis also the main cowpeaproduction area. Oursurvey confirms Rawal’s(1975) conclusion. Thereare numerous situationsin Nigeria in whichdomesticated cowpea andwild cowpea exchangegenes. Therefore, itsdiversity may not be muchhigher than that of thedomesticated gene pool.An evaluation of diversityamong the collectedmaterial would helpconfirm or disprove this Fig. 3. Domesticated cowpea close to var. spontaneaassumption. (arrow). SP 949 (Borno State). Source: R. Pasquet, icipe. 31
  • 34. The potential hybridization advantage given by the Piper CV. 1913. The wildbetween wild and Bt gene to a wild cowpea prototype of the cowpea. US Dept. Agric. Bureau Plant Ind.cultivated forms has plant and whether Bt Circular 124: 29–32.implications for the cowpea poses any risk to Rawal KM. 1975. Naturaltransgenic Bt cowpea biodiversity. hybridization among wild,which are presently under weedy and cultivated Vigna References unguiculata (L.) Walp.confined field trials in Fatokun CA and Ng Q. 2007. Euphytica 24(3):699–707.Nigeria (www.aatf-africa. Outcrossing in cowpea. J Food Agric Environ 5:334–338. Vaillancourt RE and Weedenorg/userfiles/Cowpea- NF. 1992. Chloroplast Pasquet and Padulosi. In press.Project-brief.pdf). If DNA polymorphism Genus Vigna and cowpea suggests Nigerian centerthe Bt gene could move (V. unguiculata (L.) Walp.) of domestication for thethrough the pollen from taxonomy: current status and cowpea, Vigna unguiculatatransformed to wild plants, prospects. Presented at the (Leguminosae). Am. J. Bot. 79- 5th World Cowpea Research 10:1194–1199.further careful studies Conference, Saly, Senegal,need to evaluate the September 2010.New book: Nature Conservation in West Africa: Red List for BeninA new book, titled Protection de la The 365-page volume is bilingualNature en Afrique de l’Ouest: Une (French and English) and was editedListe Rouge pour le Bénin (Nature by IITA Scientist Emeritus PeterConservation in West Africa: Red List for Neuenschwander, Professor and Vice-Benin), published by IITA and partners, Chancellor Brice Sinsin (Universitéhas just come off the press. d’Abomey-Calavi, Benin), and Biosystematist Georg Goergen (IITA). The book, for the first time, presents information on the status of rare and threatened species, such as plants, animals, fish, among others. The publication consists of 33 chapters written by about 40 scientists and conservationists that cover an evaluation of 550 species based on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature, http://www.iucn.org/) criteria. The book is of interest to those working in nature conservation, including schools, NGOs, government agencies, policymakers, as well as tourists. The book was produced with the generous support of the following partners: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Leventis Foundation, Netherlands Embassy (Benin), and Helvetas (Switzerland). Copies are available for sale from IITA. To get a copy, please contact Peter Neuenschwander, IITA-Benin, at p.neuenschwander@cgiar.org or Katherine Lopez, IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria, at k.lopez@cgiar.org.32
  • 35. Restoring the IITA ForestDeni Bown, d.bown@cgiar.orgIn 2010, the International Year of IITA Forest shelters a wealth of animalBiodiversity, a new project began at and plant species and provides a habitatIITA to enhance biodiversity and restore for biodiversity in Nigeria.IITA’s Forest. Coincidentally, the UnitedNations (UN) declared 2011 as the ObjectivesInternational Year of Forests, and the The IITA–Leventis Forest RestorationIITA–Leventis Project is preparing to Project aims to:plant over 30,000 saplings of indigenous Restore the existing forest bytree species this year to restore native removing invasive exotic species,forests. such as Chromolaena odorata, DelonixBackground regia, Gliricidia sepium, LeucaenaThe IITA campus (1000 ha) in Ibadan, leucocephala, and Tithonia diversifolia,Nigeria, now largely within the city and replanting the area with indigenouslimits of Ibadan, was acquired in 1965. species from seeds, wildlings, andThe land was mostly bush, interspersed cuttings.with field crops and 26 villages, whoseoccupants were relocated. After campus Protect the IITA Forest againstconstruction and the allocation of fields disturbance and theft, in particular,for crop research, about a third of the against hunting for bush meat and thesite—some 350 ha—was left untouched. collection of medicinal plant parts.In 1987, campus residents created Catalog the biodiversity of the forestedpathways through this regenerating areas, mainly in terms of birds,post-abandonment secondary forest, butterflies, and medicinal plants, andresulting in the Forest Trails we still monitor changes.enjoy today. After more than 45 yearsas a reserve, and with continuing loss Replant the east bank of the lake withof forest in southwest Nigeria, this area indigenous tree species and carry outhas become an increasingly important research into reforestation techniques.refuge for many plants and animals thatwere once widespread. Together with Engage in conservation educationalan artificial lake at the west margin, the activities, especially with young people, Year of Forests 2011 Forests provide a shelter and well-being of people to people and a habitat to and life everywhere. The biodiversity. They are a United Nations General source of food, medicine, Assembly declared 2011 and clean water and play the International Year of a vital role in maintaining Forests to raise awareness a stable global climate on the sustainable and environment. All of management, conservation, these elements taken and development of all together reinforce the types of forests. For more message that forests information: www.un.org/ are vital to the survival en/events/iyof2011/. 33
  • 36. are also under way to found a Youth Explorers’ branch of the Nigerian Field Society which will use the resources and expertise at the IITA campus. Educational displays of medicinal plants, butterflies, and photo archives of birds were exhibited at events, and information, both printed and electronic, is provided for the numerous visitors. Together with the Security Unit at IITA, the team also improved the protection of the Forest. Catalogue of forest resources The IITA Forest is an internationally acclaimed Important Bird Area (IBA). Since March 2010, over 200 bird speciesJunonia cymodoce basking in the sun. have been identified during surveys byPhoto by Sz. Safian Shiiwua Manu, Phil Hall, John Peacock, Adeniyi Taiye, and Matt Stephens. to raise awareness of the need to Similar baseline surveys were carried protect forests. out for butterflies by Szabolcs Sáfián, Robert Warren, and Oskar Brattström, Form local, regional, and international and brought the total identified in the partnerships in tropical forest IITA Forest to 220. Deni Bown has to conservation, research, and education date recorded 431 plant species at IITA; activities. of these, 382 have medicinal uses.Activities Flagship speciesThe team of rangers and nursery For many people, the Forest is a placeworkers from the IITA–Leventis Project of mystery and beauty but somethingis led by Project Coordinator John they may not know much about. ByPeacock, Medicinal Plant Expert Deni targeting conservation efforts onBown, and Nursery Manager Olukunle spectacular species, their interestOlasupo. In the first year, over 21,000 can be focused. The Project has threeseedlings of more than 40 indigenous flagship species: the Ibadan malimbe,tree species were propagated. Malimbus ibadanensis, an endangeredExperimental plots were established to bird found only in the Ibadan area; therecord the effects of different ground iroko, Milicia excelsa, one of Nigeria’streatments on the growth of 10 species. most important timber trees; and theReforesting the east bank was also “PG plant”, Pararistolochia goldieana, astarted by planting trees grown in liana (a woody vine) that produces thetheir first Tree Seed Project by the largest flower in Africa.International School at IITA and by theInstitute’s staff. The Iroko is of major economic importance but cannot be grownIn addition to the School’s Tree Seed successfully in plantations. The onlyProject, a Garden Club was started to place where it is now safe from beingshow children how to grow, propagate, felled is within the IITA campus.harvest, and value edible and medicinalplants. There are regular activities to Likewise the Ibadan malimbe and PGengage children in observing wildlife plant are totally dependent on the IITAand appreciating the forest. Moves Forest for survival.34
  • 37. Over the past 50 decades, the loss of biodiversity and create an Africantropical forests in Nigeria has been Science Park or Innovation Africa™.catastrophic, giving this fragment These are valuable resources forin IITA considerable importance. local interests and the wider scientificIncreasing its extent and biodiversity is community.part of IITA’s new initiative to conserveFlagship species in the IITA Forest: (left) Ibadan malimbe, Malimbus ibadanensis,(Source: Leventis Foundation) and (right) Pararistolochia goldieana, a woody vine thatproduces the largest flower in Africa. Photo by O. Adebayo, IITA. Why do tropical forests matter? Tropical rainforests million ha remain, which and socioeconomic support the greatest is less than 10% of the change. Environmental complexity and numbers total land area—the lowest degradation is increasingly of living organisms on percentage in West Africa. seen as an economic earth. In pristine forests, Traditionally, forests provide loss that developing tree species alone may local employment and are countries can ill afford. exceed 100/ha—whereas sustainably harvested for Now that the real cost in temperate forests, fibers, foods, beverage of overexploiting this there are fewer than 10/ ingredients, medicines, apparently inexhaustible ha—and each has at fodder, colorants, tannins, “free” supply of wild plants least 15 other organisms latex, oils, resins, and and animals has become dependent on it. The waxes, as well as for apparent, goals are being destruction of tropical timber. Nationally, they established by the United forests, therefore, has are a source of tourist Nations via the Convention a devastating impact revenue and carbon credits. on Biological Diversity on biodiversity. Since Internationally, they protect (CBD) and incentives for 1995, Nigeria has lost watersheds and globally, Reducing Emissions from over 56% (>6 million they mitigate the effects Deforestation and Forest ha) of its rainforests and of climate change. Their Degradation (REDD) to deforestation continues loss has complex knock-on protect the remaining at a world-record rate effects that are only now forests, reforest degraded of 3.5% every year. being quantified in terms areas, and promote Currently only 9.6 of environmental, climatic, sustainable development. 35
  • 38. BEST PracTicEInvesting inaflasafe™ is a cost- gross domestic product and Kwashiorkor, andeffective, safe, and multiplied by disability- exert severe nutritionalnatural method for adjusted life years saved interference, includingpreventing the formation per unit cost) for aflatoxin in protein synthesis,of aflatoxin in maize biocontrol in Nigerian the modification ofand other susceptible maize ranged from 5.10 micronutrients, and thecommodities in the field to 24.8. According to the uptake of vitamins A andand also in postharvest guidelines from the World D.storage and processing. Health Organization (WHO Exposure in animalsIt is providing hope 2001), any intervention reduces milk and eggfor African farmers with a CER >1 is yields. The contaminationand opening doors for considered to be “very of milk and meat isentrepreneurs looking cost-effective”. passed on to humansto invest on a winning after consumption offormula in the agricultural About aflatoxins Produced by the fungi these products. Aflatoxinssector. Aspergillus spp., aflatoxins affect cereals, oilseeds, are highly toxic fungal spices, tree nuts, milk,Scientific studies suggest substances that suppress meat, and dried fruits.that investment in the immune system, and Maize and groundnut areaflasafe™ in Africa isviable, not only for profit cause growth retardation, major sources of human liver cancer, and even exposure because ofbut also to improve their higher susceptibilitypeoples health. For death in humans and domestic animals. to contamination andinstance, the study of Wu frequent consumption.and Khlangwiset (2010) Aflatoxins also affect theestimated that the cost- rate of recovery from The toxins are mosteffectiveness ratio (CER; protein malnutrition prevalent within developing countries in tropical regions and the problem is expected to be further exacerbated by climate change. The high incidence of aflatoxin throughout sub- Saharan Africa aggravates an already food-insecure situation. Agricultural productivity is hampered by contamination, compromising food availability, access,aflasafe™ manufactured inIITA. Photo by IITA. and utilization. UnlessMaize farmers receive aflasafe™ from IITA. Photo by IITA.36
  • 39. aflatoxins in crops and IITA and partnerslivestock are effectively conducted trials inmanaged, marketable Nigeria. Native atoxigenicproduction and food strains reducedsafety cannot improve. contamination by upThus, the economic to 99%. The Nationalbenefits of increased Agency for Food andtrade cannot be achieved. Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC)Aflatoxins cost farmers gave IITA provisionaland countries hundreds registration to beginof millions of dollars testing of the inoculum ofannually. These losses a mixture of four strainshave caused crops under the trade nameto be moved out of aflasafe™. In 2009 andregions, companies to 2010, maize farmersgo bankrupt, and entire who applied aflasafe™agricultural communities achieved, on average,to lose stability. a reduction of >80% in aflatoxin contamination IITA staff producing aflasafeTM inaflasafe™ to the rescue at harvest and 90% after the lab. Photo by IITA.An innovative scientific storage.solution in the formof biocontrol has Groundnut farmers alsobeen developed by Some countries, such achieved more than 90% as Senegal, have lostthe US Department of reduction in Nigeria andAgricultures Agricultural groundnut export market Senegal using a version to the European Union dueResearch Service (USDA- of aflasafe™ with nativeARS). This breakthrough to aflatoxin contamination. atoxigenic strains fromtechnology,already widely Senegal. Commercial production ofused in the United States, aflasafe™ would allow easyreduces aflatoxins during In the future and widespread availabilityboth crop development The success recorded of a simple solution toand postharvest storage, so far in the control of the most recalcitrantand throughout the value aflatoxin comes from problem affecting farmerschain. aflasafe™ produced in and consumers. The the lab. Consequently, monetized value of livesIITA and USDA-ARS to meet the demands ofhave been collaborating saved, quality of life farmers in sub-Saharan gained, and improvedsince 2003 to adapt Africa, large-scalethe biocontrol for trade by reducing aflatoxin production is needed. far exceeds the cost ofAfrica. They achievedsignificant breakthroughs In Nigeria, for instance, aflasafe™ production.that resulted in the nearly 30% of harvested Referencedevelopment of an maize has high levels of Wu F and Khlangwiset P. 2010.indigenous aflatoxin aflatoxins and is prone to Health economic impacts andtechnology in Nigeria, being rejected by the feed cost-effectiveness of aflatoxin- reduction strategies in Africa:now called aflasafe™. industry. In Kenya, last case studies in biocontrol andaflasafe™ contains four year because of aflatoxin post-harvest Interventions.native atoxigenic strains contamination, more Food Additives & Contaminants.of Aspergillus flavus that than two million bags of Part A, 27: 4, 496—509, First published on: 05 January 2010outcompetes and replaces maize were declared unfit (iFirst).the toxin-producing for human consumptionstrains, thus reducing in the Eastern andaflatoxin accumulation. the Coast provinces. 37
  • 40. Clean seed systemsSustainable production and distributionof clean banana and plantainBi Irie Vroh, b.vroh@cgiar.orgBanana (Musa spp.) including the Fragments de tige) tens of good qualityplantain type are among Africa’s most plantlets are produced within twoimportant staple food and cash crops. months at relatively low costs. In thisNearly 30 million t of banana are approach, the primary buds of entireproduced yearly in Africa, mostly by suckers or fragments of corms aresmallholders and consumed locally. destroyed and axillary buds are exposed to high humidity to induce sproutsThe major edible types are which are then harvested, hardened,parthenocarpic (produces fruit without and distributed. This approach can befertilization) and seedless. They are implemented in remote rural areas nearpropagated traditionally by planting farmers’ fields or by NGOs in directcorms and suckers (daughter plants that contact with farmers for training and thegrow from the rhizomes at the base of distribution of good planting materials.mother plants). This procedure is simple to replicate using locally made humidity chambersHowever, propagation material derived (Fig. 1).from the infected mother stocks resultsin perpetuation of diseases (e.g., viruses Micropropagation: Also known assuch as banana bunchy top, banana in vitro production of tissue culturestreak) and pests (e.g., nematodes and (TC) material this is the mostweevils) leading to low yields and poor efficient approach to the productionquality fruits. of clean planting material in terms of throughput and germplasm exchangesDue to the unavailability of disease- across international borders. In vitroand pest-free or clean planting plantlets are micropropagated in the TCmaterials, farmers in sub-Saharan Africa laboratory of IITA in Ibadan, Nigeria,traditionally plant suckers derived from and hardened first in the acclimatizingtheir own plantations, most of which are rooms, then in screenhouses beforeaffected with pests and diseases. being distributed to farmers. PlantingIITA has been using three approaches materials from preferred landracesto generate clean planting material of and improved hybrids are propagatedfarmer-favored banana cultivars: through TC, and hardened for use or maintained in a conservation cold roomBoiling water treatment of suckers: where each genotype is replicatedSuckers are submerged in boiling water several times from the initial meristemfor 30 seconds to kill nematodes and for future use (Fig. 2).weevils. This method is efficient andeasy for farmers, but it has low output Combining the TC pipeline with theand is laborious. macropropagation through PIF, IITA regularly distributes thousands ofMacropropagation using the PIF seedlings to NARS, NGOs, and farmerstechnique: Through the technique in West and Central Africa. Besidesknown as PIF (plantes Issues de the preferred local varieties, the most38
  • 41. Fig. 1. IITA’s Emmanuel Njukwe, Paula Bramel, and Bi Irie Vroh visit the Fritz JakobFoundation, an NGO collaborator in Cameroon to look at humidity chambers undershade and planting materials obtained by the NGO. Source: B. Vroh, IITA.Fig. 2. IITA’s Delphine Amah holding racks of TC plants in a growth room.Source: B. Vroh, IITA. 39
  • 42. distributed improved materials include by TC or by PIF, hardened and raised inthe plantain hybrids PITA 14, PITA 21, screenhouses, and then transferred toand PITA 23 and the cooking banana specific project sites (Fig. 3).hybrid BITA 3. These hybrids expressa higher level of tolerance for black In rural communities, IITA emphasizesSigatoka diseases compared with local training for farmers and ruralvarieties. entrepreneurs so they can produce clean planting materials in their ownIITA trains farmers in applying boiling communities. These various effortswater treatment of suckers and enhance the farmers’ access to cleanmacropropagation by PIF to produce planting materials and also encourageclean planting material. However, IITA involvement of commercial operatorsprimarily uses micropropagation asthe method of choice for conservation, in distribution of planting materials.propagation, and distribution of The improvement of the capacity ofgermplasm, and also to support its NARS and the involvement of thebreeding programs. IITA also provides private sector are needed to scale uptraining programs on TC operations for the technologies for the sustainableNARS. For IITA’s projects in West Africa, production of clean planting materials ofclean planting materials are produced banana and plantain.Fig. 3. Hardening of clean planting materials produced by TC and PIF methods in ascreenhouse at IITA. Source: B. Vroh, IITA.40
  • 43. Developing clean seed systems forcassava in East and Central AfricaJames Legg, j.legg@cgiar.orgCassava is one of those crops that uses One of the most important approachespart of the plant for propagation. It to controlling these virus diseases, asis very convenient to use vegetative well as other pathogens of cassava,material from a previous crop to plant is through the avoidance of infection.a new one. This is one of the beauties This can be achieved by starting outof vegetatively propagated crops. with pathogen-tested plants, and thenHowever, this convenience comes at bulking the planting material through aa price. The use of planting material series of quality controlled multiplicationfrom a previous generation to establish steps. Although it sounds very simple,the next provides an easy way for this can be difficult to achieve indisease-causing pathogens, particularly practice.viruses, to pass directly from one Pathogen testing requires well-equippedplant generation to another. So, while laboratories run by adequately trainedthey offer convenience, vegetatively- staff. Quality management in thepropagated crops are often more widely field requires extensive grassrootsaffected by pathogens than those knowledge of disease symptoms andplanted in the form of true seeds. the involvement of an appropriatelyIn Africa, cassava is the most widely trained and resourced national plantcultivated of the vegetatively- protection organization. In many partspropagated crops, being grown on more of sub-Saharan Africa, capacity for thesethan 12 million ha across the continent.The exotic pest introductions, cassava Cassava stems for future crop. Photo by L.Kumar, IITA.mealybug and cassava green mite,caused great damage to Africa’s cassavacrop in the 1980s and 1990s, but bothhave been effectively managed throughthe implementation of a classicalbiological control program.The fungal diseases, cassava bacterialblight (Xanthomonas axonopodis pv.manihotis) and cassava anthracnose(Colletotrichum gloeosporioides f. sp.manihotis) are locally important. Thegreatest current constraints to cassavaproduction, however, are the virusdiseases, cassava mosaic disease (CMD)caused by cassava mosaic geminiviruses(CMGs) and cassava brown streakdisease (CBSD) caused by cassavabrown streak viruses (CBSVs), whichtogether cause crop losses worth morethan US$1 billion annually. 41
  • 44. functions remains insufficient to meet sites in endemic areas. Plantingthe demands. materials from fields that fail to meet QMP standards are not distributed orIITA and its partners have made used for further multiplication, althoughsignificant progress in developing and the tuberous roots can be used byimplementing new systems to maintain the growers for consumption. Fieldsthe health of cassava through seed that meet the QMP standard and testsystems. For instance, through the negative for CBSVs are approved forGreat Lakes Cassava Initiative (GLCI), more widespread dissemination.a multi-partnered project implementedfrom 2007 to the present in Burundi, This is the first time that this level ofDemocratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, rigor has been applied to maintainingRwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda, a the health of cassava throughrigorous system has been put in place multiplication programs in sub-Saharanto assure the health of cassava planting Africa. It has been invaluable in assuringmaterial. This has been particularly the health of the planting materialimportant in view of the rapid recent provided to more than half a millionspread of a devastating pandemic of beneficiaries in six countries, andCBSD in East Africa. provides an important model for otherThe key components of the quality current and future cassava developmentand health management system programs.are as follows: Primary (centralized Much remains to be done before suchseed production sites) managed by an approach can be used in a moreresearchers or qualified seed producers, sustainable way. Most importantly, basicsecondary, and tertiary multiplication capacity needs to be strengthened insites (usually in farmers’ fields) are most countries. Key elements of thisall assessed, at least once in a year, include the laboratory and humanusing the Quality Management Protocol capacity for virus indexing, as well(QMP). This sets out quality levels, as the knowledge of QMP and theprimarily in terms of disease and pest capacity of the national plant quarantineincidence and material quality that must organization to monitor cassava seedbe met if the field is to “pass”. systems.The QMP standards for CMD and CBSD In addition, the management of cassavaincidences ascertained by diagnostic diseases could be greatly enhanced bytests are <10% for primary and the establishment of isolated nuclearsecondary sites and <20% for tertiary multiplication sites planted with virus- tested cassava plantlets derived from tissue culture, as well as by raising Healthy cassava plant. Photo by IITA. awareness among growers about the importance of establishing the next crop with healthy planting material. A long-term goal, as the commercial value of cassava increases, will be to provide a mechanism through which planting material certified through the QMP attracts a price premium. Creating added value is certain to be the key to the future development of clean seed systems for cassava in Africa. IITA and its partners are strongly committed to reaching this goal.42
  • 45. Clean yam tubersfrom vine cuttingsHidehiko Kikuno, h.kikuno@cgiar.Production of yam seed tubersusing vine cuttings and in vitromicropropagation is quick, cost-effective, and results in clean plantingmaterial. This new propagation system Yam market vendor. Photo by IITA.for yam developed by IITA uses vinecuttings grown on carbonized rice husks for about 30% of the total yield and ascombined with in vitro micropropagation much as 63% of the total variable cost(tissue culture) (Fig.1). incurred per season of cultivation. The multiplication rate in the field using theThe traditional system uses tubers as traditional system is also very low (1:5seeds, is inefficient and costly. High to 1:10) compared, for instance, withproduction costs are attributed to the some cereals (1:300). Low quality seeduse of seed yam tubers, which account yam containing pests (nematodes) and Multiplication by subculture Established plants in In vitro screenhouse plantlets Seedlings acclimatized Meristem Preparation of stem cuttings cultureFig. 1. Clean seed tuber production system using vine propagation in combination withtissue culture techniques. Source: H Kikuno, IITA. 43
  • 46. pathogens (viruses) also result in a poor suitable for use as seed yam for plantingyield of ware yam tubers. in the field, whereas small tubers are resown to obtain appropriately sizedThe use of vine cuttings as a planting seed yam (about 200−400 g) (Table 1).material gives a higher multiplicationrate that is about 20−50 times Attempts are also being made tomore than the traditional system. It standardize the procedure for the directalso significantly lowers the risk of use of vine cuttings as planting materialnematode infestation and promotes using cv. TDr 95/18544. The success offaster multiplication and better and this approach could change the way inmore uniform crop quality. Although which yam is propagated in the futureviruses are difficult to eliminate, and eliminate the dependence on seedplanting materials (seedlings or tubers) yam for planting needs. It would alsoproduced by this approach are relatively boost the availability of yam by ~30%clean compared with those from other (Table 1 and Fig. 2).propagation methods used in the openfield. Another trial conducted to understand the appropriate time to excise vineAn experiment conducted from 2009 cuttings established from tissue cultureto 2010 using seed tubers produced by materials revealed that the best timevine propagation and planted at 25 cm for vine cutting is before the rapid× 1 m spacing resulted in the production tuberization stage. Vine cuttingsof tubers both large (200−400 g) and taken after tuberization were poorlysmall (<10−30 g). Large tubers are established (Fig. 3, Kikuno et al. 2010).Table 1. Yield of tubers harvested from yam (white yam: TDr 95/18544)with different sizes of seed tubers produced by vine propagation. Size of seed yam and Fresh weight of tubers Estimated yield mini-setts (g/plant) (t/ha) <10 g (SHM) 427.6ab 17.2 <10 g (FM) 325.6b 13.2 10–30 g (SHM) 570.0a 22.8 10–30 g (FM) 555.8a 22.4 25–30 g sett (Control) 391.6b 15.6 Mean 454.1±105.9 18.2±4.2SHM: Plants originating from tissue culture materials cultured in the screenhouse.FM: Plants originating from mini-setts from tubers and cultured in the open field.Fig. 2. Tubers harvested from plants grown from seed tubers propagated by vinecuttings. Source: H. Kikuno, IITA.44
  • 47. Dry weight of tubers Rooting (%) per plant (g) 100 50 Screenhouse 80 40 60 30 40 20 20 10 0 0 60 90 120 150 100 300 Field 80 250 200 60 150 40 100 20 50 0 0 60 90 120 150 Days after transplantingFig. 3. Correlation between rooting of vine cuttings and dry weight of tubers formed onmother plants. Time course of rooting of vine cuttings and growth of tubers of motherplants on yam (D. alata cv. TDa 95/00361). Bars in each figure indicate % of vinecuttings with rooting.This new technology offers a rapid International Cooperation Centersolution for a high-output production of for Agricultural Education at Nagoyaseed yam or yam planting material. At University in Japan under the Ministrythe same time, it addresses the need for of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisherieslarge numbers and the quick distribution funded the project. Partners includeof improved varieties to farmers. This the Tokyo University of Agriculture;knowledge would be useful for NARES, National Root Crops Research InstituteCSOs, and farmers involved in producing at Umudike, Nigeria; Crop Researchand distributing seed yam, and in Institute, Ghana; and Institute ofmaintaining and multiplying breeder Agricultural Research for Development,and foundation seeds. The technologies Cameroon.can also be used as a research tool byscientists. Reference Kikuno H, Matsumoto R, Shiwachi H, ToyoharaThe project was funded by the Japanese H, and Asiedu R. 2007. Comparative effects ofGovernment (Ministry of Foreign explants sources and age of plant on rooting,Affairs), Sasakawa Africa Association, shooting and tuber formation of vine cuttingsTokyo University of Agriculture, and from yams (Dioscorea spp.). Japanese Journal of Tropical Agriculture 51, Extra issue 2. 45
  • 48. A hot bath for the suckers!An effective treatment against nematode and weevil pests of banana and plantainBanana and plantain (Musa spp.) are Nematodes attack the roots, hamperingimportant food crops for millions of the uptake of nutrients from the soilpeople all over the world. The banana is and drastically reducing yield. In severethe most popular fruit in the world and cases, they topple the whole plant.number one in international trade. The Weevils, on the other hand, attack theFAO estimates that over 100 million t plant’s underground corm, weakeningof banana and plantain were produced the plant and causing stem breakage.worldwide in 2007. In sub-Saharan Average production losses fromAfrica (SSA), over 70 million smallholder nematodes are estimated at 30% offarmers depend on the two crops for the harvests of highland banana in Easttheir food and income. Africa and can exceed 60% for plantain in West Africa.Banana and plantain production isgreatly constrained by pests and These two pests are spread from onediseases that lead to annual losses farm to another through the plantingof millions of US dollars. The most of infested suckers. Farmers can avoidimportant pests are nematodes (several infesting their farms by ensuring thatspecies) and weevils (Cosmopolites they plant disease- and pest-freesordidus) that are found in the soil and suckers, such as those derived fromroots. tissue culture. These are, however, out of reach for the millions of small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Research has shown that peeling and treating the suckers in hot water, at 50 °C, can effectively remove both nematodes and weevils and their eggs. This method has worked successfully for commercial farms and organized cooperatives but not for small-scale farmers. This is because a thermometer must be used to ensure precision and the right temperature and this is not readily accessible to the farmers in SSA. IITA’s scientists Danny Coyne and Stefan Hauser have developed an easier method that is just as effective by simply immersing the peeled or unpeeled suckers in boiling water for 20–30 seconds. The counting The duration of 20–30 seconds can be achieved by simply counting from 1 to 30. Farmers can also use small objects,Farmers dipping peeled suckers in boiling such as pebbles, to mark the time:water. Source: D. Coyne, IITA.46
  • 49. This technique has proven to be friendly to small-scale farmers and is better than the hot water treatment at 50 °C as the time taken to treat a sucker is reduced and the measurement of the temperature and timing is simplified. It effectively disinfects suckers of various sizes without affecting their germination The method is radical and requires skill and care when it is promoted to farmers who may be sceptical at first. The scientists recommend the use of a demonstration plot to introduce the technology and convince farmers to adopt it. They must keep within 30 seconds as otherwise they risk damaging the suckers, especially those that are small-sized. Although the technology requires a fuel/Plantain plant with three sword suckers, energy source and the process has to befield trial on IITA Campus, Ibadan, Nigeria. followed precisely, it is definitely a muchPhoto by A. zumFelde, IITA. easier method to use than the hot water treatment.picking the pebbles one by one andplacing them in a small container. The Using boiling water to treat the suckerscounting takes about 1 second/item but has the potential to improve banana andfarmers can check the time for more plantain productivity by eliminating theaccuracy. two pests.Plantain field planted with suckers treated in boiling water, IITA Campus, Ibadan.Photo by A. zumFelde, IITA. 47
  • 50. Tool BoX DEWN: a novel surveillance system for cassava disease Innocent Ndyetabula*, indyetabura@yahoo.com and James Legg, j.legg@cgiar.org Researchers inspect cassava planst for disease incidence. Photo by IITA.Pandemics of cassava mosaic disease provide an early warning of new(CMD) and cassava brown streak outbreaks?disease (CBSD) are the most importantbiotic constraints to cassava production The result was the Digital Early Warningin East and Central Africa. Network or DEWN. After extensive consultation, a plan was developedFor several years, researchers have for its pilot-level implementation. Thistracked these two diseases and system works with six farmers’ groupsmonitored patterns of pandemic in each of 10 disease-threatenedexpansion. However, costs have been districts of northwestern Tanzania, andhigh, and the visits made once a year provides them with a system basedhave barely kept pace with the rate of on the use of the mobile phone fordisease spread. reporting incidences of CMD and CBSD in their farms. By communicatingHence, researchers working to control monthly with farmers’ groups, it wasthese problems resolved to explore expected that new outbreaks would beother monitoring options. During early identified quickly, allowing the timelydiscussions, two themes were frequently implementation of control measures.highlighted: community participationand new technology. Could both of Partnershipsthese be incorporated into an alternative The pilot phase of DEWN has beenapproach to monitoring disease spread primarily implemented by the Lakein such a way that the system would Zone Agricultural Research Institute*Contact address: Maruku Agricultural Research Institute, PO Box 127, Bukoba, Tanzania.48
  • 51. (LZARDI), under the IITA-coordinated Voice of the Farmer reports.Disease Objective of the Great Lakes Participating farmers were linked to theCassava Initiative (GLCI). GLCI is Voice of the Farmer project (VOF). Thisfunded by the Bill and Melinda Gates is a project that is executed by SynovateFoundation (BMGF) and is led by and financed by BMGF. It aims to usethe Catholic Relief Services (CRS). a network of call centers to provideThe partners of GLCI in the DEWN monitoring and evaluation support totarget districts included several local existing BMGF programs.NGOs (TAHEA, MRHP, KUMKUMAKA,RUDDO, and TCRS) as well as the DEWN provided a means for VOF tolocal government agricultural advisory communicate directly with many ofsystem. the participating farmers. This enabled VOF to conduct two surveys to assessTraining the effectiveness of DEWN’s trainingAt the outset, it was essential to train program on the identification andall participating farmers’ groups to management of cassava pests andrecognize the symptoms of the two virus diseases. Participating farmers werediseases, and introduce the SMS-based called directly by VOF call centercommunication system. A total of 1281 staff and were asked a series of shortfarmers were trained in the 60 groups, questions in Swahili. Although farmers’and district partners were provided with responses indicated a good generala GPS unit and digital camera to record knowledge of CMD and CBSD, somefield locations and any unusual disease confusion about symptoms was evident,symptoms. highlighting the need for further training support. The VOF–DEWN reports areEach of the farmers’ groups was available online at www.vof.synovate.co.ke.provided with a basic GSM phone andSIM card and introduced to the simple Mapping new disease outbreaks.texting system for sending monthly Information obtained from the DEWNdisease reports. A straightforward text reports received from farmers’ groupsformat was used for the farmers’ groups was used to generate maps. One of theto provide information on how many most significant findings was that CBSD,farmers had observed each of the two reported by farmers via SMS, was thendiseases in their fields that month, and confirmed by researchers’ visits in twofor how many farmers each disease had districts (Bukombe and Urambo) inbecome more severe, less severe, or which CBSD had not previously beenstayed the same. Once reports had been reported. This has allowed projectcompiled at the farmers’ group level, teams to focus extra disease mitigationthey were sent as a single text to the efforts on these areas.LZARDI modem. Extending DEWN. Recognizing theOutcomes potential value of DEWN for providingValidation visit. A follow-up visit communities with a means of doingwas made after 6 months to validate their own monitoring of crop disease,farmers’ reports. A refresher course the GLCI cassava team in Rwandawas provided, but the farmers generally decided to start a similar scheme.indicated a good knowledge of the main Farmers’ representatives from Rwandasymptoms of both diseases. Partly as a visited DEWN partners in Tanzania inconsequence of their new understanding October 2010 and were introducedof the significance of CMD and CBSD, to the approach and given trainingthere was a strong demand from in recognizing CBSD and CMD. Theparticipating farmers for improved Rwanda team will initiate its own DEWNvarieties. program in 2011. 49
  • 52. DEWN has provided an innovative, have been achieved. Two of the greatestinformative, and relatively cheap means challenges which remain, however, arefor involving communities in monitoring the accurate diagnosis of CBSD, whichthe health of their own crops. Farmers’ has cryptic or unrecognized symptomsparticipation has been enthusiastic, and the regular provision of feedback toand some important practical outcomes participating communities.Map based on farmers and researchers reports of CMD occurrence in Lake Zone districtsof Tanzania. Source: J. Legg, IITA.50
  • 53. Plans are already being developed great potential for the more widespreadto address these problems. As these use of digital networks such as DEWNdifficulties are overcome and as for the community-based monitoring ofconnectivity in rural areas continues to crop diseases.expand, it seems certain that there isMap based on farmers and researchers reports of CBSD occurrence in Lake Zonedistricts of Tanzania. Source: J. Legg, IITA. 51
  • 54. Combating the threat ofCassava brown streak disease (CBSD) CBSD conspicuous and farmers are oftenis a virus disease that has emerged as a unaware of the problem until theyserious threat to production in Eastern harvest the roots and the corky, yellow-and Southern Africa. brown necrotic rot becomes evident.Two virus species, Cassava brown streak There is no cure for the disease. Oncevirus and Cassava brown streak Uganda plants become infected, the only optionvirus, the cassava brown streak viruses for growers is to uproot and destroyor CBSVs, have been recognized to cause them. The use of virus-free plantingCBSD. The infection results in mosaic material and the cultivation of resistantsymptoms on leaves, brown streaks on varieties are the only options for thestems, and a corky necrosis in tuberous control of CBSD.roots. Where is it and where is it heading?Root necrosis has the most damaging CBSD is endemic in Kenya, Malawi,effects on the use and marketability Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda andof the tubers and thus affects the its occurrence is suspected in Burundi,livelihoods of cassava farmers. It can Gabon, Madagascar, DRC, and Rwanda.make susceptible varieties unusable if Available evidence suggests a westwardthe roots are left in the ground for over 9 spread of the disease.months. What is IITA doing about it?CBSVs are spread through the planting IITA has adopted a multipronged strategyof infected stem cuttings and also by to tackle CBSD, to reduce the effects ona vector, a whitefly, Bemisia tabaci. cassava in epidemic areas, and prevent aThe foliar symptoms of CBSD are less further spread of the disease. Its efforts begin with informing governments about the threat. The four technical pillars of this strategy are as follows. Monitor disease spread and assess its impact: Key outputs include (a) the development of disease distribution maps, (b) estimates of yield loss, and (c) identification of targets for development. Understand disease etiology and epidemiology; develop tools for monitoring and forewarning: Key outputs include (a) understanding the effects of the viruses in cassava, (b) examining the characteristics of virus spread, (c) creating diagnostic tools for CBSVs, and (d) using digital-enabled field surveillance tools for real time reporting and a monitoring network. Develop and disseminate durable CBSD- resistant cassava cultivars: Key outputs include (a) screening and selectingBrown streak-affected cassava. Photo by L. over 40 elite cassava cultivars withKumar, IITA.52
  • 55. dual resistance/tolerance to CBSD and cassava mosaic disease (CMD) appropriate for various countries, (b) deploying tolerant varieties for farmers to cultivate in East Africa, (c) developing molecular markers and modern molecular breeding tools for the accelerated development of CBSD-resistant varieties, (d) pre-breeding in areas currently not affected by the viruses, and (e) developing clean seed systems for the multiplication and dissemination of virus- free planting material. Capacity building through the transfer of knowledge, technology, and products to stakeholders: IITA has (a) built a coalition of international teams to combat CBSD, (b) trained scientists, extension workers, and plant quarantine officials in disease recognition, monitoring, and Prof Mike Thresh, Scientist Emeritus, diagnostics, (c) established regional Natural Resources Institute, UK (right), diagnostic labs, (d) created awareness during his visit to IITA-Ibadan, teaching through the use of the mass media, and students how to recognize diseases in the (e) provided technical backstopping to field. Photo by L. Kumar, IITA. national efforts in combating CBSD. programs to produce and distribute cleanA suite of knowledge, technologies, and planting material.products derived so far from IITA’s R4Defforts is playing a vital role in checking the All the cassava-producing countries in Africaspread of the disease and has contributed should:to reviving cassava production in areasaffected by the epidemic. However, Organize large-scale awareness creationcomplete recovery and the prevention of programs to inform farmers, extensionany further spread of CBSD are still a long workers, CSOs, and national researchway off. They require a strong commitment entities about CBSD, the eradication offrom national and international communities infected plants, and the steps for diseaseto sustain the ongoing and emerging control.research and development efforts that Strengthen the monitoring capacityare devising effective and eco-friendly of the national quarantine authoritiestechnologies for sub-Saharan Africa. and other relevant bodies including theAdvice to stakeholders establishment of communication systemsIn countries where CBSD is already for a rapid response to prevent diseaseestablished, IITA recommends that and eradicate infections where they aregovernments require the use of available identified.CBSD control programs, including the Develop resistant varieties mostadoption of promising CBSD-resistant urgently, through breeding, using bothcultivars, and the production and conventional and transgenic approaches.distribution of clean cassava plantingmaterial. Put in place a strategy for the production and distribution of clean cassava plantingCountries not yet affected need to increase material, and adopt improved varietiestheir vigilance and develop the capacity with resistance to CBSD and CMD.to recognize CBSD and deploy eradicationprograms; establish plans for preemptive Affirm financial and political supportaction to reduce the risk of CBSD spreading for collaboration, cooperation, andfrom affected regions; and put in place coordination to prevent the further spread of CBSD in tropical Africa. 53
  • 56. WHo’S WHoDavid Chikoye:Think of the bigpicture: look at theend usersDavid Chikoye is the IITA Directorfor R4D responsible for managingthe southern African hub and twoprograms—the Cereals and Legumes(CLP), and the Horticulture and Tree Crops Programs.Why did IITA choose Zambia as the hub to those in West Africa, therefore thefor the southern African region? successes we have made in the westFrom a historical perspective, IITA has can be transferred to the south withbeen operating in southern Africa for little modification. This has been ourover 25 years. In fact, we operated strategy.in 12 out of 13 countries in southernAfrica. We were looking at each What is going on in the hub?country in terms of the contribution to Our strategy has been to collect andagriculture vis-à-vis policies, the ease also interact with our colleagues inof doing work, i.e., the social amenities, southern Africa and use the knowledgeand (more importantly), the availability which has been generated over time toof partners. Zambia was centrally start testing in southern Africa. Some oflocated, and the Government’s policies the things we have been doing includeover time have been pro-agriculture. In testing varieties, management andZambia, there is easy access to private agronomic and postharvest practices, asfarms and also to the NARES. well as cross-cutting activities such as the training of NARES partners.How crucial is southern Africa to IITA’smandate? Do you see any radical change in theIITA serves the needs of sub-Saharan way IITA does its work because of theAfrica. In West Africa, we have made CG reforms?significant progress, especially in Nigeria In the short run, nothing will radicallywhere the headquarters is located. For change. What has happened is thatinstance, in soybean, when we started, the CG reforms have split some of ourNigeria was not near the countries that programs. For instance, the CLP haswere high producers of the crop but been split into two—maize goes intonow, it is the highest producer in Africa, the maize consortium research programwith about 600,000 ha planted to the (CRP) and legumes go to the legumecrop. What this means is that it is now component of the CRP. Also some of ourimportant for us to start transferring programs have been consolidated. Forsome of the knowledge from the west to example, roots and tubers have beenthe other parts of Africa. The southern consolidated with banana and plantain,African region has challenges similar making the program bigger. The54
  • 57. Opportunities and Threats program fits lot of benefits, of which we may notvery well with the Markets CRP. These to be sufficiently aware. For us to moveme are minor modifications in the short the crop forward, we need to go intorun. So when you look at the way we serious advocacy. Again if you look atmanage our programs at IITA, I don’t most programs, they have biases forthink anything significant will change cereal crops. If you look at maize inalthough in the long run we might need most countries, there is some subsidyto make some adjustments. The CG in terms of input supplies, fertilizer, etc.reforms will entail that we do full cost Nothing like this exists for cowpea butrecovery. That means that the way we cowpea is relatively easier to grow.do business has to change. In summary,the CG reforms have their advantages What role can cowpea play in southernand disadvantages but generally, they Africa?are for the good of the institute. Over the last 10−15 years, we have had this problem of drought, so I seeWhat would you consider the most cowpea diversifying the maize-basedsignificant achievement of the CLP? system, especially in years whenThe CLP has really made a lot of drought will become more pronounced.progress in terms of developing high- Southern Africa is again hit by HIV andyielding varieties together with crop AIDS. Those people that are affectedmanagement practices. We have need nutritious foods. Cowpea, beingalso developed several postharvest a protein food, can help to providetechnologies. In addition, there some of the nutritional needs. Lastly,has been a wide adoption of these livestock production in the region is alsotechnologies and to me, those are significant. Therefore the dual-purposesignificant developments. cowpea will have a significant role to play by providing fodder for livestock.For instance, Striga is a major problem Looking at the bigger picture, cowpeafor cereals—maize, rice, sorghum, can have a big role to play in solvingetc. It has been estimated that Striga poverty in Africa.alone causes annual losses of aboutUS$7 billion. That negatively affectsmore than 100 million people. We havebeen able to develop Striga-resistantor tolerant maize varieties. In cowpea,we have been able to develop varietiesthat are tolerant of pests and diseases.Significant achievements have beenmade in this program.What makes it difficult for cowpea toattract the private sector?Let us look at it this way: cowpeais an African crop compared withmaize and soybean that came fromother continents. Those crops, bytheir nature, have attracted a lot ofcommercial interest. For instance,in maize, the commercial sector isvery much interested in marketingseeds—hybrids—but not for cowpea. Forsoybean, there is a lot of commercialinterest in the poultry sector.Cowpea is a traditional crop—growit, harvest it, and eat it. It offers a Cowpea market. Photo by IITA. 55
  • 58. How can IITA work better with partners? same language. But this is only oneIITA can contribute to solving poverty component. We need to talk to donors,but our efforts alone are not enough. policymakers, and other people.We need to look at our comparative The question is: can these groupsadvantage; that is in upstream and understand our jargon? The answer isstrategic research. Where we don’t usually, no, they can’t. Most scientistshave the comparative advantage, we need to be retrained on communicatingshould look for partners. Traditionally, their science to the layperson. This iswe work with the NARES but now with one of the issues about which IITAsthe CG reforms, we need to tap into and Director General Hartmann had beenstrengthen our linkages with the private reminding scientists—if you work in thesector. Let’s take advantage of the lab, think of the big picture. We needskills the private sector has, especially to work with the Communication Officein marketing technologies. These guys and the media to train scientists inare good in marketing and they have communicating effectively to end users.existing channels which they use inpromoting their technologies. Any words of wisdom for colleagues? I don’t think I am qualified to passHow can scientists become better words of wisdom. What I want tocommunicators? reemphasize is that the challenges inScientists are good communicators Africa are many: poverty, malnutrition,especially in communicating among etc. IITA is a means that we can use topeers, e.g., in seminars and conferences resolve some of these problems. So asand publishing in scientific journals. we work for IITA, let’s not forget the bigThis is so because they all speak the picture—let’s think about the end users.Jim Gockowski:Sustainableintensificationof agriculture isan alternative todeforestationJim Gockowski is an agriculturaleconomist with the Sustainable TreeCrops Program (STCP) based in IITA-Ghana.About 15 years ago, the RockefellerScience Foundation offered Jim theopportunity to work in any five of CGIARcenters. His wife’s passion for Africa andCameroon in particular made the familyto choose IITA. In this interview withAtser Godwin, Gockowski shares his experience as he works in Africa for Africa.56
  • 59. IITA-STCP works with partners to improve the livelihoods of households in cocoa-basedproduction systems in West Africa. In photo: Red-podded cocoa tree. Photo by S. David, IITA.Tell us about your work. impact of policies or in some cases theWhen I first started with IITA in 1995, I lack of policies on livelihoods, outcomes,was involved in the Alternative to Slash and the environment.and Burn Program. This was a system-wide program looking at issues of The other impact is in helping todeforestation along the forest margins transfer developed products—basicallyand trying to come up with alternatives knowledge on natural resourcesto extensive agriculture that uses the management—to farmers. We haveforest as an input in the production done this through development ofsystem. Also, beginning in 2000, we got curriculums for farmers’ field schools.involved with STCP, which is a public- We are also involved with some ofprivate partnership between the global the climate negotiations around thechocolate industry and USAID that Reducing Emissions from Deforestationis focused on the cocoa belt of West and Forest Degradation (REDD)Africa and is working on sustainable initiative.improvement of livelihoods of cocoa- What have been the impacts of STCP?producing households. We have trained over 120,000 farmersWhat has been its impact? in five countries of West Africa. We haveWe do lots of evaluation, and we try and also worked with farmer organizationsdo some policy work with our studies to strengthen their efforts throughand findings. collective marketing with probably over 40,000 households being affected.The impact of the social sciences in the These are probably two major impactsSTCP and the Alternative to Slash and with the STCP. Farmers from the fieldBurn Program has been on two levels: school training have seen returnsOne is on policy levels that is providing increased by between 40 and 43%.information and evidence, and the 57
  • 60. What is REDD all about? management options. This will takeREDD is a means of reducing carbon away pressure on the rainforest andemissions into the atmosphere. It was help in reducing global warming. Thisa coalition of rainforest countries that is on the mitigation side. Again, wegot together in 2007 at the conference know that climate is getting warmer,of the parties of the Kyoto protocol. with predictions that in the next 70They put their REDD agenda on the years, temperatures could rise by morenegotiating table in terms of the climate than three degrees. We also know thatnegotiation. The basic concept is that agricultural productivity doesn’t respondas developing countries, they need to positively to warmer temperaturesprovide jobs for their people and one hence there will be a reduction inway that is historical is to convert the yields. So we need to be focused onrainforest into production agriculture or the climate response of our majorother forms of earning livelihoods. production systems as it proceeds. It will be a gradual thing but we needThe REDD idea is the concept of to be strategic about it. We need toeconomic compensation to countries strategize.with tropical rainforests for theirforegone opportunities of not On the adaptation side, we need to bedeforesting the rainforest. working on drought-tolerant crops. We need to do adaptive research that wouldWhat is the IITA project called allow the African smallholder farmers toFertilizers-for-Forest (f4F)? deal with a change in climate.What we know in West and CentralAfrica is that agriculture is the principal Another area is that of institutions. Wedriving force for deforestation and in have problems with our credit markets,particular the practice of slash and burn. crop insurance, and input markets. WeWhen this happens, you get wood ash need to strengthen these institutionsthat is loaded with potassium and some and a government policy that favors thetrace amounts of nitrogen. The wood private sector approach that doesn’tash improves the soil but it is not a distort markets.sustainable practice. What are some of the positive changesThe idea of Fertilizers-for-Forest is that you are seeing in Africa?really about sustainable intensification From a rural perspective, I have seenled by policy changes that would offer a lot of self-empowerment. I thinkfarmers an alternative to cutting down this is happening because democracythe forest and burning to get wood ash. is playing its role by giving the ruralThe alternative is that instead of cutting majority a voice and that voice isthe forest to get the biomass, let’s use starting to be heard. Again, I don’t thinkfertilizers. it will be business as usual because the population is growing quite fast and weWe believe that this type of need to feed these teeming millions.intensification is necessary for We need to modernize agriculturepreserving what is being left of the and African farmers are beginningWest African forest which is 18% of to demand those from their publicwhat it used to be. It is also one way servants.that we can conserve the Congo basinrainforest. What makes your work successful? If I have made any success, it is dueHow do you see IITA playing a role in to diligence. If you work hard, I guessmitigating the effects of climate change? good things result. We have a wonderfulThere are two ways that we can play institute with a lot of good scientistsa role. One is to support policy-led and all that I can say is that I haveintensification projects by working with been fortunate to work with very goodNARES partners and better soil fertility scientists.58
  • 61. lookiNg iNNAQS: IITAcontributes to oureffectivenessOlufunke Awosusi is a Senior PlantQuarantine Officer with the NigeriaAgricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS)in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture andRural Development. NAQS is chargedwith the responsibility of protecting theNigerian agricultural economy from theattacks of pests, especially "foreign"pests, and also enhancing agriculturaltrade through export inspection andcertification. Below are excerpts from aninterview with Godwin Atser on the roleof the NAQS and the collaboration withIITA.What is the role of NAQS?The NAQS evolved from the former PlantQuarantine Service. It was established in connection with the import andin recognition of the fact that export of agricultural products withagricultural quarantine is the control of a view to minimizing the risk to thethe introduction and spread of pests and agricultural economy, food safety, anddiseases by means of legislation and as the environment.a result of the country’s problems withina decade before independence with the The main objective of NAQS is tointroduction of cocoa and maize pests. prevent the introduction, establishment,The cocoa industry almost collapsed; and spread of animal and zoonoticplantations were destroyed; and diseases and pests of plants anddisease-resistant cocoa varieties were fisheries including their products. NAQShanded to farmers for replanting. This also undertakes emergency protocol tocost the Government a colossal amount. control or manage new pest incursion orFor maize, it took the concerted efforts diseases outbreak in collaboration withof several West African nations coming key stakeholders.together to revive production in theregion. What is the situation with NAQS today? The standards have improvedNAQS was created to harmonize the drastically. Today NAQS has improvedquarantine of plant, veterinary, and personnel who are more skillful andaquatic (fisheries) resources in Nigeria trained in pest diagnosis stationed in theto promote and regulate sanitary entry and exit points in the country. We(animal and fisheries health) and have had improvements in diagnosticphytosanitary (plant health) measures facilities and this is perhaps one of the 59
  • 62. reasons why some of the exotic pests would destroy the crops/gains. Thishave been kept outside our borders. understanding hasn’t been appreciated and it is partly why the sector is givenWhat is your assessment of quarantine low funding.in Africa?Africa has witnessed improvement Also, the public is not properly beingin the quarantine system. The Inter- informed about what plant quarantineAfrica Phytosanitary Council (IAPSC) stands for. Therefore, having voluntaryhas been playing a tremendous compliance with the regulations is a bitrole in harmonizing phytosanitary difficult. Another problem is the lackregulations within the continent, training of emergency funds and preparednessphytosanitary inspectors, and coming to contain the immediate outbreak ofup with pest lists to guide nations, pests.revision of phytosanitary legislationand regulation, and implementation of In recent times, what are some of thephytosanitary standards, among others. pests you find challenging? Recently, we have noticed theAny challenges in carrying out your introduction of fruitflies that are fasttask? devastating fruits in our country. ButThe problem faced by NAQS is the we need a regional approach to tacklelack of political will concerning the this problem, because the insectquarantine system itself. Again, the role involved is a strong flier. We are alsoof the quarantine service is not very faced with the threats of more pests.much appreciated, especially in food On cassava, we have Cassava mosaicsecurity. A lot of attention has been virus (Ugandan strain) which is ravagingfocused on how to improve production. crops in East Africa. Another is theThe attention placed on plant protection Cassava brown streak virus, whichis not as much as that given to plant affects cassava leaves and roots. Weimprovement. But, however successful also have threats of banana bunchy topthe improvement program, once and banana bacterial wilt. We need toyou allow pests to come in, they inform people so that they don’t bringKeeping out pests from national borders is a key role of the quarantine service. Photo by S.Muranaka, IITA.60
  • 63. planting materials into the country from continuous. Secondly, a country likeEast Africa. There is the need to put Nigeria has a very diverse culture andpreemptive action in place so that new the climatic conditions to grow cropsdiseases don’t get to Nigeria and West all year round, so there is a need for usAfrica. to conduct pest surveillance so that we know the pest status in the country.What measures are being put in place tocontain the spread of these pests? There is an ongoing pest survey and thisFor fruitflies, we held a sensitization is being done on a crop by crop basis.workshop in 2009 where different Scientists from universities, nationalstakeholders participated. The FAO agricultural research institutes, andis coming up with a regional control international organizations are involvedmeasure for the West African bloc to and we hope it will be on a continuousharmonize and adopt. Again, scientists basis with support from the governmentare looking for ways to control these and stakeholders.pests. For cassava brown streakdisease or CBSD, we have stepped up How good an option is biocontrol?quarantine efforts aimed at curtailing/ Biocontrol is a good strategy. Everybodyscrutinizing the entrance of planting wants to deemphasize the use ofmaterials from those endemic regions. pesticides because of the effect ofIn the future, we are thinking of chemical residues and there is a lot oftraining our officers on new tools that emphasis now on food safety. Also thereaid the inspection of imported planting is concern about preserving biodiversity.materials. Now the emphasis is on integrated pest management. The more often you canWhy is the response to crop pests eliminate the use of pesticides, theespecially slow when compared with the better.response to animal pests?When new crop pests come in, the How is the collaboration with IITA?impact for the first few years is not We have a very good and strongso obvious. This is not the case with relationship with IITA. IITA is ourthe invasion of animal pests when you major stakeholder when it comes tosee the deaths of animals. Perhaps germplasm exchange.this is the reason why crop pests don’tcatch the attention of the Government IITA has been assisting us in theimmediately. We could be talking training of our officers—upgrading theirabout fruitflies but people are saying, skills—especially in the area of pest“Mangoes and oranges are still on the diagnosis.streets.” When the devastation arisingfrom pest establishment, spread, and Sometimes when we are handicappeddestruction becomes much serious and by inadequate facilities IITA stepsfarmers start crying, that is the time we in. Also IITA is good in the area ofget an official response, especially in information dissemination which hadterms of funding for control measures. been beneficial to us.What kind of support would you ask for The collaboration with IITA is quitespecifically? strong and mutually beneficial.Capacity building to enhance pest Sometimes IITA assists us to attendinterception and diagnosis is very international workshops and seminarsimportant for us. If you don’t have that are relevant for job improvement.knowledge about the biology of thepests, you may have problems. The The institute has contributed to ourquarantine inspectors/officers need to effectiveness in the country.be trained and the training needs to be 61
  • 64. COMESA: Ensuringsanitary andphytosanitarystandards in theregionMartha Byanyima is a food science andtrade expert from Uganda. She hasworked in the region on sanitary andphytosanitary (SPS) and agriculturaltrade programs, supporting countriesto carry out the necessary policy andlegal reforms and strengthening privatesector/industry systems.Currently, she is the Regional Processand Partnerships Facilitator of theComprehensive Africa AgricultureDevelopment Program (CAADP) at the COMESA Secretariat. CAADP is the AfricaUnion Commission and the NEPAD Coordinating Agency (AUC/NPCA) continentalprogram aimed at increasing agricultural productivity in Africa.She supports development of the regional CAADP process and establishespartnerships for regional investments in key areas prioritized to address thechallenges of food security and poverty in the Common Market for East andSouthern Africa (COMESA) region. She also leads COMESA’s SPS work program.What is COMESA all about? health. These commonly take the formCOMESA is a regional economic of legislation, inspection, and testingcommunity (REC) of 19 countries. requirements and border controls.Our mandate is to create a vibrant Measures similar to SPS had been inand dynamic common market in place for several decades; however, theywhich business will thrive and became more important under the Worldexpand regionally. We improve the Trade Organization (WTO) Agreementcompetitiveness of the farmers, in 1995, which recognized the rightentrepreneurs, and traders. In this to protect the agricultural sector andregard, compliance with international biodiversity. These measures ensurestandards, particularly SPS measures, that products produced domestically orwhich are a prerequisite for agriculture imported conform with the regulationsand agro-industry competitiveness and and standards of the territory.access to regional and global markets,becomes very important to us. The SPS agreement of WTO encourages countries to use common standards,Why are SPS measures important? guidelines, and recommendationsSPS measures are mandatory as developed by the Internationalrequirements instituted by governments Plant Protection Convention for plantto protect human, animal, and plant protection, the Codex Alimentarius62
  • 65. Commission for food safety, and the How can Green Pass help trade andWorld Organization for Animal Health markets in East and Southern Africa?for pests and animal diseases and Since SPS is an important area forzoonoses. effective markets in the context of regional integration, COMESA hasHow can compliance with SPS standards a regional work program aimed atfacilitate trading and marketing of mobilizing resources to address theagricultural goods? critical gaps in the SPS systemsCompliance with SPS standards of regional member countries.promotes economic development and The work program has four resulttrade. SPS is a very important area areas: (a) common certificationas we deepen regional integration schemes (standards), (b) monitoring,to reduce barriers to transacting surveillance, and preparedness forbusiness and to free the movement of emergencies, (c) improved exchangeagricultural and food products among of SPS information between the publicmember countries. COMESA has slowly and private sectors, and (d) improvedprogressed from a Preferential Trade regional leadership and coordination.Area with lower duties charged on goodsoriginating from member countries to a Our activities include encouragingFree Trade Area (FTA) in 2000 where no the adoption of regional standards,duty is charged on goods from member establishing regional SPS databasescountries as long as they comply with and information systems, establishingthe rules of origin and to a full Customs modalities and piloting mutually agreedUnion in 2009 where a common external certification schemes such as thetariff is applied to goods imported from Green Pass, awareness and trainingoutside the region. workshops, and strengthening SPS infrastructure, such as laboratories.How do you promote these standards?While such a progression is based How are you implementing the Greenon tariff reduction and/or elimination Pass system?to reduce the cost of transacting The first step in creating awarenessbusiness, SPS barriers constitute an and motivating countries to stepadded cost to business that is noteasily quantified, requiring scientific Food supplies being loaded on trucks forand technical capacity that is often transportation to urban centers. Photo by IITA.lacking. In this regard, strengtheningSPS infrastructure, such as laboratories,and the harmonization of SPS laws,regulations, procedures, and standardsare essential for intra-regional trade andsuccessful regional integration.What is the Green Pass system?It is the harmonization of SPS measuresacross COMESA countries and theestablishment of equivalence throughcommon certification schemes. TheGreen Pass system is intended torestore confidence among trade partnersand remove SPS barriers to facilitatetrade and the marketing of food andagricultural products within the region. 63
  • 66. Who are your partners in implementing the system? In piloting the Green Pass certification scheme, we envisage partnerships with the private sector, regional institutions with relevant expertise, such as IITA and governments. The decision to implement the Green Pass was endorsed by ministers of agriculture in July 2010, and thus all countries will be involved to the extent that the Green Pass is the viable option to resolve the existing SPS problem. What are some of your challenges? The greatest challenge is to create a common understanding of the Green Pass concept; there are variations in the way it is understood by experts, governments, the private sector, and other stakeholders.Enforcing phytosanitary policies andregulations in the region would benefit Another challenge is traditionaltrade and commerce, and ultimately the certification schemes that are basedfarmers and consumers. Photo by IITA. on international standards but may not respond to intraregional tradeup harmonization efforts is the challenges. For example, South Africaestablishment of the SPS legal (SA) demands a certificate of originframework to guide countries on the from Zambia honey exporters innecessary policy and legal reforms. At addition to the animal health certificatethe heart of the legal framework is the issued by the Government. The ZambiaGreen Pass system. market, however, has lots of food imports from China which treats beesWhat can international organizations or with antibiotics. SA regulations restrictnetworks do to help promote standards antibiotic residues in honey. Therefore,and the Green Pass system? SA demands full proof that the honeyCurrently we are developing proposals originates from Zambia and not China,to pilot commercially driven Green Pass where the honey is not organic. In thiscertification schemes. For example, we case the Green Pass would come inwill support the member countries to handy to establish a certification schemedevelop common protocols to address that includes traceability protocols andthe problem of fruitflies in banana, a certificate of origin in addition topassion fruit, and avocado, or aflatoxins the animal health certificate from thein maize. Such protocols, developed Government.and piloted by the private sectorand governments, with support from Of course, there are also constraints inCOMESA, will constitute the science both human and financial resources.to inform the Green Pass certificationscheme. The protocols and related Why a common market for East andinfrastructure, such as reference Southern African?laboratories, are regional public goods On 22 October 2008, heads of Statesthat serve both the private and public and Governments of the 26 countriessectors. in Eastern and Southern Africa that64
  • 67. have membership in COMESA, EAC, and regional levels. However, governmentsSADC, made a landmark decision that are responding slowly to the all-the three RECs should immediately start inclusive principle of CAADP; non-Stateworking towards a merger into a single actors such as IITA, farmers, and theFTA to deepen regional integration. private sector have not been engagedThe three have a combined population to the extent necessary to achieve theof 565 million, and a gross domestic effective transfer of scientific knowledgeproduct of US$875 billion. These are and expertise.57% of Africa’s population and 59%of the GDP. The total land mass of the What support do you need?COMESA-EAC-SADC region is 14.8 At this stage, it is important for allmillion km² or 49% of Africa’s total land players to recognize the transformationmass. taking place in the agricultural sector on this continent—the bumper harvestsThe decisions of the Tripartite Summit and the increased investments. Thishave far-reaching implications on the is largely driven by RECs throughoperations of the three RECs with regard support to country CAADP processesto joint planning, programming, and and regional integration programs.implementation of the common agenda. Policy reforms and technical supportIn addition, there will be a need for are important elements of thedevelopment partners to rationalize and transformation process that cannotharmonize their support in the tripartite be achieved by RECs acting alone;framework. specialized institutions such as IITA and other nonstate actors need to fillSince then, the Agreement to establish this gap. It is, thus, important thatthe Tripartite FTA has been developed development partners, donors, andand will be signed in mid-2011. other actors respond positively to theThe purpose of the Agreement is to call by the African Union to align withenhance collaboration (through joint regional priorities embedded in theinvestments) and avoid the duplication RECs’ regional integration programs andof effort that has characterized in so doing support the transformationthe COMESA region as a result of process currently taking place on thismultiple membership of the regional continent.communities. What is your vision for AfricanAnnex 14 of the Agreement to establish agriculture, trade, and economy?the Tripartite FTA specifically addresses I look forward to deeper regionalSPS, requiring Tripartite member integration among the African countries.countries to harmonize SPS measures The Tripartite framework providesand, where necessary, to implement the best means to achieve this. Byjoint programs. strengthening infrastructure on key trade corridors and facilitating theWhat role do you envisage for IITA in transport of goods while strengtheningCOMESA? the countries’ SPS systems through theIITA and other regional specialized best science available, agricultural valuescientific institutions have a huge role chains will expand beyond the COMESAto play They can ensure that the best region. New opportunities will be openedscience informs agricultural planning for the private sector. At the sameand development, using the CAADP time, it is my hope that the Tripartiteframework that has proved to be an framework will encourage collaborationeffective instrument in harnessing in scientific research and innovations toknowledge and bringing it to sector further strengthen value addition andplanning processes at the national and trade in value-added food products. 65
  • 68. IAPSC: ProtectingAfricas plant healthJean-Gerard Mezui M’ella is theDirector of the Inter-AfricanPhytosanitary Council (IAPSC), theAfrican Plant Protection Organizationwith headquarters in Nlongkak,Yaounde, Cameroon. IAPSC is anintergovernmental organization with53 members under the umbrella ofthe African Union. It coordinates plantprotection procedures in Africa.The IAPSC Director coordinatesthe activities of its four sections(Phytopathology; Entomology; Documentation, Information and Communication;Administration and Finance). He represents the African region in the Commissionfor Phytosanitary Measures of the International Plant Protection Convention(IPPC/FAO), promotes compliance with International Standards for PhytosanitaryMeasures (ISPMs), and represents the African Union Commission on diplomaticmatters in Central Africa. In this interview, he talks about the important work ofIAPSC.Why is IAPSC important? - Dearth of phytosanitary data (PestsIAPSC is a technical office of the African Risk Analysis, diagnostics, surveillance,Union/Directorate of Rural Economy and etc.)Agriculture. It is one of the 10 RegionalPlant Protection Organizations of the AU-IAPSC safeguards agricultureIPPC. As the regional organization for and natural resources from theAfrica, it works in collaboration with the risks associated with the entry andnational plant protection organizations establishment or spread of pests ofof the 53 countries of the AU. plants and plant products to ensure food safety and quality supply to intra-AfricanIAPSC mostly implements its activities and international markets.through the eight African RegionalEconomic Communities (RECs) and sub- How would you assess the state of plantRECs. It addresses phytosanitary issues protection in Africa?in Africa including the following: Africa still has a lot of problems with plant protection. In fact, most African- The vulnerability of African crop countries inherited an administration putproduction systems to the impact of in place before independence, which todiseases, insect pests, and noxious a certain extent, has safeguarded theweeds; plant health of the different countries. There were departments of Agriculture- Economic losses incurred through and Divisions such as plant pathology,spoilage; entomology, agricultural chemistry, and also plant quarantine. After- Noncompliance with ISPMs, trade independence, with the coming intoregulations, and equivalents;66
  • 69. force of the IPPC, adopted by the FAO although even those in existence find itConference of 1951, the global approach difficult to comply with IPPC standards.and harmonization of phytosanitary It is our hope to have quarantinemeasures started to take shape. stations in each country.For example, a common format forphytosanitary certificates was set up, Harmonizing phytosanitary regulationscommon action was secured to prevent and policies in Africa must be quitethe spread of pests of plants and plant challenging. How are you doing this?products, guidelines were provided Nontariff barriers such as SPS measuresregarding phytosanitary matters and the are often used as a disguised way torelevant actions to be taken by national restrict trade. It is becoming essential,governments in the implementation of following the World Trade Organization‘splant quarantine. agreement on SPSMs for member countries of the WTO to ensure thatIAPSC promotes cooperation among the SPS measures they apply are incountries to prevent the movement of line with this agreement. To do so, theserious pests. It provides a forum for technical and organizational capacity ofAfrican countries to promote their views the various organizations at national,on plant health. In addition, quarantine regional, or international levels havestructures in Africa differ from one to be given the necessary tools to dealregion to another. In fact, some with the new challenges.countries have operational quarantinestations but others do not. We at IAPSC The 1995 WTO agreement was set upencourage the creation of regional to remove unnecessary, unjustified,and subregional quarantine stations, and arbitrary pressure on internationalQuarantine inspector reading about banana bunchy top. Photo by L. Kumar, IITA. 67
  • 70. trade in plants and plant products. This the phytosanitary information in thewas a new situation for the various International Plant Protection Portal ofstakeholders, e.g., new themes such FAO.as transparency, scientific justification,notifications, inquiry points, risk IAPSC provides information onanalysis, and standards are now the quarantine pests on plants as well as forguiding principles. the protection of plant products for the AU member countries through both theIt is thus of the utmost importance for paper and electronic media. Paper-basedAfrican countries, where phytosanitary information systems include a scientificcapacity deficits are most severe, to analysis, a phytosanitary situation inbegin a process of developing a strategy Africa, reports of service activities, andfor capacity building to meet their a collection of phytosanitary regulationsobligations under the WTO rules. and standards. Electronic information on compact discs covers a database of theIn 2003, the RECs became the meetings and phytosanitary regulationsimplementation arm of IAPSC whose of member States. The Phytosanitarytechnical programs are assessed by News bulletin of IAPSC is issued fourthe RECs during the annual meetings times a year. It welcomes contributionsof the Steering Committee and General and articles from National PlantAssembly. Protection Organizations.IAPSC, much like AU, encourages There is a web site for the worldwideregional common markets. dissemination of information (http://What are your major challenges? www.au-iapsc.org), and a library thatBesides funding, the major challenges hosts scientific books.IAPSC faces on a daily basis include Our workshops and seminars aimthe entry of new pests on the African at sharing information on thecontinent that annihilate the efforts of phytosanitary situation and on themember countries; the proliferation findings in crop protection research.of invasive pests; climate changethat brings about new plant heath We frequently conduct monitoring andchallenges; and a lack of scientists evaluation exercises (country visits,specialized in plant protection. exchange and information sharing among countries). All these activitiesHow do you ensure that regulations or help in networking among the partnerspolicies are strictly implemented? in Africa.We endeavor to strengthen thecapacities of countries so that they can What support do you need from theprevent and control the introduction of member countries? From partners?plant pests in Africa. We encourage the From clients?setting up of Centers of Phytosanitary To improve the prevailing situationExcellence, the creation of phytosanitary concerning quarantine standards,networks, and the regular updating of regional cooperation and compliancepest lists in Africa. with international regulations, the following priorities have been identified:What are you doing to improve the linksand working relationships among NPPOs 1. Ensuring that all African countries areand networks in Africa? parties to the IPPC;We organize workshops and seminarson plant matters; we publish a 2. Ensuring the harmonization of plantquarterly phytosanitary news bulletin; protection policies across RECs throughand we enrich on a regular basis capacity building;68
  • 71. 3. Regularly updating pest lists and methods, Cassava germplasm andquarantine pests; planting material exchange, Banana pests’ diagnostics and control technique4. Harmonizing phytosanitary inspection methods, Banana germplasm andsystems; surveillance, emergency planting material exchange, andresponses, risk analysis: procedures Harmonization of African countries’to analyze and reduce the risk of new phytosanitary systems.pests entering a country; What could international bodies such5. Setting up a harmonized pesticide as IITA do to ensure that Africa’smanagement system. agriculture is safeguarded? IITA, like other bodies, should work withDescribe your collaboration with IITA. country structures through IAPSC, andIAPSC-IITA cooperation is in the collaborate with recognized subregionalfollowing key areas: Cassava pests’ and regional structures of the public anddiagnostics and control technique private sectors in plant protection.IITA researchers conduct plant health tests in lab. Photo by L. Kumar, IITA. 69
  • 72. fRoNTiERSTransgenic banana for AfricaLeena Tripathi, l.tripathi@cgiar.orgBanana (Musa spp.) are one of the Xanthomonas campestris pv.most important food crops after maize, musacearum (Xcm) was first reportedrice, wheat, and cassava. Annual about 40 years ago in Ethiopiaproduction in the world is estimated on Ensete spp., a close relative ofat 130 million t, nearly one-third of it banana. Outside Ethiopia, BXW wasgrown in sub-Saharan Africa, where the first identified in Uganda in 2001,crop provides more than 25% of the subsequently in the DR Congo, Rwanda,food energy requirements for over 100 Kenya, Tanzania, and Burundi. Themillion people. East Africa is the region disease is highly contagious and isthat produces and consumes the most spread plant-to-plant through the use ofbanana in Africa. Uganda is the world’s contaminated agricultural implements.second largest producer after India, with It is also carried by insects that feeda total of about 10 million t. on male buds, and is present on plant material, including infected debris.The banana Xanthomonas wilt (BXW) The rapid spread of the disease hasdisease caused by the bacterium endangered the livelihoods of millions ofPlants established in confined field trial 5 months after planting. Source: L. Tripathi, IITA.70
  • 73. farmers who rely on banana for staplefood and cash.Infection by Xcm results in the yellowingand wilting of leaves, uneven andpremature ripening of fruits, andyellowish and dark brown scars inthe pulp. Infected plants eventuallywither and die. The pathogen infectsall varieties, including East AfricanHighland Banana (EAHB) and exotictypes, resulting in annual losses of overUS$500 million across East and CentralAfrica.Options for BXW control usingchemicals, biocontrol agents, orresistant cultivars are not available.Although BXW can be managed byfollowing phytosaniary practices,including cutting and burying infected Banana plantation damaged by Xanthomonasplants, restricting the movement of wilt. Source: L. Tripathi, IITA.banana materials from BXW-affectedareas, decapitating male buds, andusing “clean” tools, the adoption of such IITA, in partnership with the Nationalpractices has been inconsistent. They Agricultural Research Organizationare labor-intensive and farmers believe (NARO)-Uganda and the Africanthat debudding affects the fruit quality. Agriculture Technology Foundation (AATF), has developed transgenicThe use of disease-resistant cultivars banana expressing the Hrap or Pflp genehas been an effective and economically using embryogenic cell suspensions orviable strategy for managing plant meristematic tissues of four bananadiseases. However, resistance to BXW cultivars, Sukali Ndiizi, Mpologoma,has not been found in any banana Nakinyika, and Pisang Awak. More thancultivar. Even if resistant germplasm is 300 putatively transformed plants wereidentified, conventional banana breeding regenerated and validated via PCRto transfer resistance to farmer- assay and Southern blot. Of these, 65preferred cultivars is a difficult and transgenic plants have exhibited stronglengthy process because of the sterility resistance to BXW in the laboratoryof most cultivars and also the long and screenhouse tests. The plants didgeneration times. not exhibit any differences from their nontransformed controls, suggestingTransgenic technologies that facilitate that the constitutive expression of thesethe transfer of useful genes across genes has no effect on plant physiologyspecies have been shown to offer or other agronomic traits.numerous advantages to avoid thenatural delays and problems in breeding The 65 resistant lines were planted inbanana. They provide a cost-effective a confined field trial in October 2010method to develop varieties resistant at the National Agriculture Researchto BXW. Transgenic plants expressing Laboratories (NARL), Kawanda, Uganda,the Hypersensitive Response Assisting after approval was obtained fromProtein (Hrap) or Plant Ferredoxin Like the National Biosafety Committee.Protein (Pflp) gene originating from These transgenic lines are undersweet pepper (Capsicum annuum) has evaluation for disease resistancebeen shown to offer effective resistance and agronomic performance in fieldto related Xanthomonas strains. conditions. The transgenic lines are 71
  • 74. Confined field trial of banana plants. Source: L. Tripathi, IITA.slated for environmental and food safety developing broad-spectrum resistance.assessment in compliance with Uganda’s The elicitor is a protein secreted bybiosafety regulations, and procedures pathogens that induce resistance. Thefor risk assessment and management, transgenic banana carrying these genesand seed registration and release. After may also display resistance to fungalcompleting the necessary biosafety diseases such as black sigatoka andvalidation and receiving approval from Fusarium wilt. Experiments on this arethe Biosafety Committee, the Xcm- being conducted in our lab in Uganda.resistant cultivars are expected to bederegulated for cultivation in farmers’ We are also planning to stack genes forfields in Uganda. resistance to Xcm and nematodes into one line to produce cultivars with dualWe plan to stack the Pflp and Hrap resistance that would tackle two of thegenes in the same cultivars to enhance most important production constraintsthe durability of resistance against Xcm. in Eastern Africa.We have developed more than 500transgenic lines with the double genes The development of Xcm-resistantconstruct (pBI-HRAP-PFLP) which are banana using the transgenic approach isbeing evaluated for disease resistance a significant technological advance thatunder contained screenhouse conditions. will increase the available arsenal of weapons to fight the BXW epidemic andThis technology may also provide save livelihoods in Africa. It can becomeeffective control of other bacterial a high-value product for farmers.diseases such as moko or blood disease,of banana occurring in other parts of the This research is supported by theworld. The elicitor-induced resistance Gatsby Charitable Foundation, AATF, andcould be a very useful strategy for USAID.The Pflp and Hrap genes are owned by Taiwan’s Academia Sinica, the patent holder. IITA hasnegotiated a royalty-free license through the AATF for access to these genes for use in thecommercial production of BXW-resistant banana varieties in sub-Saharan Africa.72
  • 75. IITA R4D Review The IITA R4D Review is a six-monthly magazine intended to help IITA and research and development partners, investors, collaborators,Editorial board and beneficiaries discuss and develop the bestPaula Bramel, Robert Asiedu, David Chikoye, new ideas for people creating, leading, andand Victor Manyong transforming tropical agriculture.Production teamEditors: Katherine Lopez and Lava Kumar The R4D Review has six sections:Copy editor: Rose UmeloCreative production: Clement Ono-Raphael and Features provides an in-depth, rigorous Adegboyega Juba presentation of a significant advance in research-Writers: Godwin Atser, Katherine Lopez, and for-development thinking and its application Catherine Njuguna to real world needs that help establish an intellectual agenda for discussion—and change— within the organizations and for society at large. Best Practice describes the how and why behind a successful research for development achievement.The IITA R4D Review is published by IITA, Tool Box provides a nuts-and-bolts explanationAfrica’s leading research partner in finding of a useful research-for-development tool thatsolutions for hunger and poverty. can be translated into action in many different situations.CopyrightIITA holds the copyright to its publications but Who’s Who recounts a personal story of an IITAencourages duplication of these materials for staff that contains lessons for colleagues.noncommercial purposes. Proper citation isrequested and modification of these materials Looking In features people from outside IITAis prohibited. Permission to make digital or hard whose ideas hold salient lessons for those withincopies of part or all of this work for personal IITA.or classroom use is hereby granted withoutfee and without a formal request provided that Frontiers is a forum for forward-looking articlescopies are not made or distributed for profit or that explore new science and technology trendscommercial advantage and that copies bear affecting development needs (i.e., startingthis notice and full citation on the first page. projects or technologies in the pipeline).Copyright for components not owned by IITAmust be honored and permission pursued withthe owner of the information. Prior specificpermission is required to copy otherwise, to CONTRIBUTIONS neededrepublish, to post on servers, or to redistributeto lists. The R4D Review is looking for new sources of solid, useful ideas that can improve research-Disclaimer for-development practice. Please send yourWe do not endorse, approve, or give any contributions or participate in the discussionswarranty on the content of this publication. in the R4D Review interactive site at www.All liability for loss and damage arising from r4dreview.org. The general guidelines foryour use of our content is excluded (except contributions are also available at this site.where death or personal injury arises from our Prospective authors can also send submissions,negligence or loss or damage arises from any communications, comments, and suggestions to:fraud on our part). The Editor, R4D Review. Headquarters: IITA, PMB 5320, Ibadan, Nigeria Mailing address: IITA, Carolyn House, 26 Dingwall Road, Croydon CR9 3EE, UK Telephone: (234 2) 751 7472, (1 201) 633 6094 Fax: (234 2) 241 2221 www.iita.orgIssue 6, March 2011
  • 76. March 2011Issue 6 Participate in the interactive online R4D Review at www.r4dreview.orgR4D Review ISSN 2071-3681

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