Friday, October 27, 2017

Understanding and assessing rice seed systems: A training collaboration of IRRI and CIAT/FLAR

Quality seed production and ensuring delivery of quality seeds to farmers are significant challenges for national seed systems around the globe.  To address these challenges, IRRI Education, together with with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the Latin American Fund for Irrigated Rice (FLAR), conducted a two-week training on seed production and understanding of seed systems.

Entitled Understanding and Assessing Rice Seed Systems, the training which ran from October 17 to 27 was attended by 20 delegates from four Latin American countries: Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Panama, in addition to Taiwan and Japan. The first leg of the training was held at CIAT headquarters near Cali, Colombia while its second leg was held in Ibague City, Colombia, hosted by the Rice Producers Federation of Colombia.

The second leg of the training included sessions about seed systems by Dr. Silmar Peske, seed expert from Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil, and editor of SeedNews bulletin. Tours were also conducted to provide a context of rice and seed production in Colombia.

"This training has been a great opportunity to provide capacity building for FLAR partner countries.   There is plenty of excitement among participants to learn from experts as well as each other about how to address the many challenges of producing quality seed and understanding seed systems,” shared FLAR Executive Director, Eduardo Graterol. 

"The training participants have varied roles across the seed production chain, coming from both the public and private sectors and ICDF as a rural development organization,” added Dr. Ana Laura Pereira, seed production specialist from the National Institute of Agricultural Research in Uruguay. Dr. Pereira provided an excellent review of seed production techniques during the training.

"This training brought a lot of different aspects together," said Jason Beebout, IRRI Education training designer.  "Aside from this first-time partnership between IRRI and CIAT/FLAR for capacity building, it brings a diversity of participants and resource persons together”.

Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), an international organization that supports smallholder farmers globally, worked with IRRI and CIAT to sponsor this capacity building initiative. Following up from last year’s two-week Seed and Extension capacity training at the IRRI Headquarters, this initiative also widened the reach of IRRI Education.

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