The ACCI(the African Centre for Crop Improvement)University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN),Pietermaritzburg, South Africa• THE GO...
The ACCI• Countries: 11 in East and Southern Africa• WACCI, at Univ. Legon, Accra, Ghana –  established in 2007 to cover W...
ACCI training in Africa                                                     Uganda                                        ...
ACCI Student Output to Date•   86 students registered in 10 years•   36 graduated•   7 to graduate in April 2012•   38 in ...
2008 Graduation
Plant Breeding Successes – a snapshot• Dry beans - complete bruchid resistance, Malawi•              - bean fly resistance...
Study Program of ACCI• 2 yr academic studies at UKZN   – Year 1: Conversion of non-Plant Breeders (80%)       • Plant Bree...
Graduates – What Next ?• Return home to research station – 100%  retention in Africa, most in NARs• Submit proposal for an...
A Model of ACCI PhD Graduates• Confident Plant Breeders, secure in the speed and power of  classical plant breeding• An ex...
Some Keys to Success ?1.   Funders – partnership based on common vision2.   Academics – critical mass = 7 plant breeders3....
Leaf blight   Resistant                                              ResistantSusceptible   Resistant Line                ...
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African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) capacity building program

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By Mark Laing.
Presented at the ASTI-FARA conference Agricultural R&D: Investing in Africa's Future: Analyzing Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities - Accra, Ghana on December 5-7, 2011. http://www.asti.cgiar.org/2011conf

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African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI) and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) capacity building program

  1. 1. The ACCI(the African Centre for Crop Improvement)University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN),Pietermaritzburg, South Africa• THE GOAL in 2002 – Train 80 PhD plant breeders – In Africa – at NARS research stations – On African food security crops
  2. 2. The ACCI• Countries: 11 in East and Southern Africa• WACCI, at Univ. Legon, Accra, Ghana – established in 2007 to cover West Africa• 16 crops – maize, sorghum, finger millet, pearl millet, rice, durum wheat, tef – cassava, sweet potato, banana – dry bean, cowpea, groundnuts, soya, pigeonpea, faba bean• Funders – Rockefeller, AGRA, GCP
  3. 3. ACCI training in Africa Uganda Ethiopia Rwanda Mali Kenya Tanzania Burkina Faso Zambia Malawi Namibia Zimbabwe South Africa Mozambique ACCI, UKZN
  4. 4. ACCI Student Output to Date• 86 students registered in 10 years• 36 graduated• 7 to graduate in April 2012• 38 in the system still• Efficiency• 84% graduated on time – 3 yrs research• 10% - 1 year late• 6% = 5 dropped out
  5. 5. 2008 Graduation
  6. 6. Plant Breeding Successes – a snapshot• Dry beans - complete bruchid resistance, Malawi• - bean fly resistance in Kenya• Cassava - CMD and BSV resistance - peak yield @ 7mo. x F.A.S. for taste• Maize – resistance to GLS, PLS, downy mildew, MSV, cob rots, drought, low fertility• Sorghum – 1st hybrids, drought tolerance, Striga control via herbicide or biocontrol + resistance• Cowpea – drought, virus and Striga resistance• Groundnut - Rosette disease + blight resistance
  7. 7. Study Program of ACCI• 2 yr academic studies at UKZN – Year 1: Conversion of non-Plant Breeders (80%) • Plant Breeding, Genetics , Biometry & Experimental Design, Plant Pathology, Scientific Communication, Throughput Skills – Year 2: Advanced studies, Lit. Review , Project Proposal • blocks of specialist subjects, ACCI and international lecturers• 3 years x field research – in home country, at home research station, in NARs – Supervisors visit several times p.a. – Quarterly reports - narrative and financial• Write-up of thesis: full draft BEFORE final 3 month in Pmb• Deadline to submit – December 1st• Graduate: April of 6th year
  8. 8. Graduates – What Next ?• Return home to research station – 100% retention in Africa, most in NARs• Submit proposal for an ongoing research program to AGRA after PhD submission – CRUCIAL that funding is provided• Aim:- Release cultivars, hybrids, novel traits , etc., developed out of the PhD studies• Publish : 75 published in ISI journals, 39 in review, 69 in preparation – use a science editor• Chapter 1 & 2 of thesis – Lit Review and PRA - published in ACCI Yearbooks, 5 to date
  9. 9. A Model of ACCI PhD Graduates• Confident Plant Breeders, secure in the speed and power of classical plant breeding• An excellent knowledge of the potential and limits of biotech tools• Objective self-confidence in their knowledge and skills• A commitment to engaging with farmers: using PRA surveys, Participatory Plant Breeding as a standard practice• Excellent writing and presentation skills• Thorough knowledge of key software – Work, Excel, Genstat, SAS, SPSS, Agrobase, PowerPoint, literature databases• Release of locally bred cultivars on a regular basis, valuing farmer uptake as the TRUE measure of success • NB in context of Delphi study by Repinski et al. 2011, in • Crop Science 51: 2325-2336.
  10. 10. Some Keys to Success ?1. Funders – partnership based on common vision2. Academics – critical mass = 7 plant breeders3. External lecturers – can fill some gaps4. Coursework component – CRUCIAL • Deficiencies in prior training • Convert non-Plant Breeders (80%)5. Throughput Skills: 33% of ACCI curriculum devoted to writing, project management, etc.6. Each student’s PhD: treated as a unique project7. Project timeline: established & fixed
  11. 11. Leaf blight Resistant ResistantSusceptible Resistant Line Rosette Disease

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