ICARDA is consistently engaged in capacity development of more than 7,000 mid-career national research staff via state-of-the art training opportunities. ICARDA’s capacity development efforts are also contributing to the improvement of livelihoods and food security in other resource-poor and dry areas. The training course on Geoinformatics Applications in an Integrated Watershed Management and Open Data Kit was conducted for NARS and ICARDA staff working in Afghanistan programs on 9-13 April 2017 in Amman, Jordan.
“The purpose of the training was to help build the capacity of ICARDA staff and NARS scientists in understanding the basics of the geoinformatics science, technology and applications in watershed mapping and management, as well as technological advances in electronic field surveys and data collection using open data kits and mobile apps,” said Dr. Chandrashekhar Biradar, head of ICARDA Geoinformatics Unit. “This short-term program provided hands on practical tools to trainees and program colleagues to apply new skills to ongoing and upcoming research projects in Afghanistan.”
The training was part of the Integrated Catchment Management and Capacity Building for Improving Livelihoods in Afghanistan project, implemented in cooperation with the Australian Government and Australian Center for International Agricultural Research.
The ICARDA-Genetic Resources Section organized a group-training course in Rabat during 17-27 April 2017, aiming at enhancing knowledge on pre-breeding efforts. The course included lectures on genetic resources conservation approaches, genebank management, genepool concept, mining genetic resources using the FIGS approach, barriers to interspecific crosses and the use of molecular and cytogenetic tools to follow up the introgressed genes.
More than 30 researchers attended the training. Practical sessions covered field visits to the ICARDA Marchouch station to see the ongoing interspecific efforts and the derived segregating germplasm, and to Settat Aridoculture center to practice embryo rescue technique. The participants also spent one day on extraction of DNA and running PCR for identifying wheat-rye translocations.
The training is an activity within the project Trait Discovery and Deployment through Mainstreaming the Wild Gene Pool in Barley and Grass Pea Breeding Programs to Adapt to Climate Change funded by the Global Crop Diversity.