The International Rice Research Institute hosted this year’s technical working group meeting of CGIAR’s Germplasm Health Units (GHU). The meeting focused on finding innovative solutions to achieve a disease-free, viable and well-documented germplasm and developing delivery strategies to make it available and accessible to farmers and the market.
The GHU is composed of germplasm experts from CGIAR centers including AfricaRice, Bioversity International, CIAT, CIP, ICARDA, ICRAF, ICRISAT, IITA, ILRI and IRRI. They are responsible for ensuring seed systems contain good quality and safe germplasm that are free of quarantine diseases. They facilitate seed health testing and production of pathogen-free seeds for conservation and distribution globally. In this year’s meeting, the members assessed the progress, achievements, lessons learned, challenges and the current capacity and processes of the GHU. They identified further strategies to improve service delivery and compliance to high standards of operations.
The members also analyzed gaps and needs in terms of upgrading infrastructure and equipment, maximizing the use of new tools and technology, building capacity in information and product management, and ensuring security and accessibility of genebanks across the globe.
Member agencies also shared knowledge and experiences and committed to work together in building further capacity to promote safer germplasm exchange and ensure global food security for today and the future generation.