Rehabilitating laboratories in Central African Republic

ICRA trainees in the seed laboratory. Photo: H Bissala ICRISAT

ICRA trainees in the seed laboratory. Photo: H Bissala ICRISAT

In order to rehabilitate laboratories that were completely damaged by the 2012-2014 civil war in the Central African Republic, seven participants from the Central African Republic Institute of Agricultural Research (ICRA) were trained at ICRISAT-Niger on seed production and soil analysis.

The training in the soil lab included both theory and practice on: 1) Basic chemistry concepts; 2) Soil and plant material sampling; 3) Sample preparation; 4) Reagent preparation; 5) Determination of soil PH; and 6) Safety. The training in the gene bank included: i) Technical itinerary for groundnut seed production; ii) Varietal characterization ii) Criteria for production of seeds of good quality; and iii) Measure of humidity and germination tests.

In the seed unit the participants learnt how to determine varietal purity, seed certification, and handling, processing and packaging of seeds. The participants visited private seed enterprises and the laboratory of the national seed certification office.

The training was given by Mr Paul Buckner, Consultant, Seed systems, ICRISAT-Niger; Mr Hassane Y Bissala, Scientific Officer, Genebank and Mr Illo Amadou, Senior Soil Lab Supervisor. Prior to the training, an evaluation of ICRA training and facilities needs was carried out by Mr Amadou in September 2015.

As part of the ICRA groundnut breeding and seed unit rehabilitation process, an order of 840 kg of foundation seeds of seven groundnut varieties (Fleur 11; JL24; ICG9199; ICG47023; ICG13395; ICG8443; and ICG13415) has been placed. The seeds will be multiplied in the coming rainy season.

Investor: German Welthungerhilfe (WHH) Partners: Central African Republic Institute of Agricultural research (ICRA), German Welthungerhilfe (WHH) and ICRISAT CGIAR Research Program:  Genebanks and Grain legumes

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