Capacity Development

Capacity development in Peru and Ethiopia

With the Capacity Development initiative, KWS supports the further education of predominantly new plant breeders in Peru and Ethiopia. The focus is on the development and propagation of regionally adapted varieties for these regions. The focus is on corn and quinoa (Inca rice) in Peru, and on barley and wheat in Ethiopia. The initiative helps to protect the existing diversity of genetic resources and use them sustainably. At the same time, the international agreement on plant genetic resources for food and agriculture will be implemented.

Challenges and goals in Peru

Peru’s climate and agriculture are diverse. Small farmers cultivate many varieties of quinoa and a variety of corn in all parts of the country. But climate change has threatened this variety. In addition, young people are relocating to cities and traditional knowledge of cultivation, and use and preservation of crops is becoming forgotten. The consequences: Chronic food shortages—particularly in more remote regions.

To increase the food security of Peruvian smallholders, KWS is focusing on three important goals: The promotion of the development of new corn and quinoa varieties, the sustainable use of genetic diversity, and the training of young Peruvian scientists.

Previous activities and first results

Managing genetic corn resources efficiently

Together with the National
Agrarian University in La Molina, we are working
on the optimization of the
management of genetic resources of corn in the UNALM gene bank.

  • Characterization with respect to agronomic traits of 1,781 corn seed samples from various ecological zones of Peru
  • Characterization with respect to genetic material with modern “genotyping-by-sequencing” (GbS) techniques
  • Creating a database
  • Training of a scientist in database creation, GbS techniques and data analysis at the University of Hohenheim

Strengthening national corn breeding programs

Together with the National Institute for Agricultural Innovation (INIA, Cusco), we have been able to develop improved corn varieties for widespread acidic soils.

  • Training in various methods of plant population increases, comparison of each expected and actual profit of selection (field trials are still being run)
  • Studies on the tolerance of newly bred corn populations and local corn varieties to acid soils: Identification of superior varieties for the Selva regions

Development of new quinoa breeding strategies

A study of the genetic diversity of twelve quinoa varieties has led to six new populations and to the identification of genomic regions for different traits.

  • Study of genetic diversity of twelve quinoa varieties with almost fifty thousand molecular markers
  • Creation of new genetic variation from single and double crosses
  • Development of six new populations, as well as identification of genomic regions for different characteristics.

Discover more information about Peru here
  • People at KWS

    We can develop new solutions faster through an international exchange.

    Lorena Santus, UNALM scientist in Hohenheim

Challenges and goals in Ethiopia

Most farmers and small businesses cannot afford fertilizers, plant protection and irrigation. Therefore a profitable and sustainable harvest depends mainly on robust plant varieties with high durability and quality. However, this is precisely what is missing: certified seed and sufficient new varieties adapted to the extremely diverse soil and agronomic conditions in Ethiopia.

The objective is to protect plant genetic resources and make them sustainable for local agriculture. In addition, we want to strengthen the regional seed industry and promote the development of new barley and wheat varieties.

Previous activities and first results

Strengthening barley and wheat breeding

  • Provision of 20 German barley and wheat varieties for transferring quality traits into local varieties
  • Training employees in different methodologies
  • Training scientists in marker-assisted selection and the development of double haploids in Germany
  • Provision of breeding equipment and material

Use of genetic resources

  • Training employees in gene bank management at the Leibniz Institute for Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) in Gatersleben
  • Repatriation of 7,200 barley samples
  • Provision of gene bank equipment and material

Promotion of small farmers

  • Distribution and monitoring cultivation of seed samples from improved barley and wheat varieties, with more than 2,000 small farmers so far
  • Redistribution of the obtained seed after harvest to small farmers
  • Cautious estimates assume that 9,000 farmers have been equipped with seed of superior varieties

Discover more information about Ethiopia here

Your contact persons for Peru

Dr. Bettina I. G. Haussmann
Dr. Bettina I. G. Haussmann
Capacity Development Manager
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Dr. Walter Schmidt
Dr. Walter Schmidt
Senior Breeding Advisor
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CONTACT

Your contact persons for Ethiopia

Dr. Peer Wilde
Dr. Peer Wilde
Senior Breeding Advisor
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Dr. Reinhard von Broock
Dr. Reinhard von Broock
Senior Breeding Advisor
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