Evaluating Human Resource Capacity for Crop Breeding in National Programs in Africa and South and Southeast Asia


Plant breeders must keep abreast of the rapid evolution of new technologies, and also implement information management strategies that efficaciously handle the ever growing amount of data required for efficient integrated breeding. Updated training for breeders is critical to build relevant human resource capacity, particularly in developing countries whose breeding programs suffer a lack of staff with diverse expertise. The CGIAR Generation Challenge Programme is leading such a capacity-building initiative. A survey was conducted among course nominees to establish a baseline of breeder level of education, knowledge and skills in analyzing data and their involvement in molecular breeding programs. The breeders were mainly from three regions: West and Central Africa, East and Southern Africa, and South and Southeast Asia, and also included a few participants from North Africa. Many of the breeders from all the regions held or were working towards a PhD. Gender balance was low, principally in West and Central Africa, where less than 15% of the breeders were women. Between 57% and 73% of the breeders surveyed in the different regions were involved in molecular breeding projects at regional or international level. The Use of multiple software tools by individual breeders for data analysis was low for breeders from all the regions, with most using 1 - 3 packages. A lack of high data-analysis capacity will be a problem in an era where integration of genomics and phenotypic data in breeding programs is essential to efficiently deliver improved cultivars.

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Diop, N. , Okono, F. & Ribaut, J. (2013). Evaluating Human Resource Capacity for Crop Breeding in National Programs in Africa and South and Southeast Asia. Creative Education, 4, 72-81. doi: 10.4236/ce.2013.410A011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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