Since 2013, the Seed Biotechnology Center at the University of California Davis, in partnership with ICRAF NEPAD, AGRA, and AOCC, organizes regular courses for Africa’s top plant breeders to upgrade their skills in advance crop breeding. The course runs for 3 two-week sessions spread over 18 months.

The first learning event on plant breeding was launched in in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2013. Till the end of 2016, two cohorts have successfully graduated.

Course goal: The goal is to train 250 African breeders in the most advanced theory and technologies for plant breeding to enhance their capacity in critical decision-making in crop (and tree) improvement.  The course covers a wide range of innovative concepts and methods in plant breeding, quantitative genetics, statistics as well as experimental design. The course also includes skills for accurate trait evaluations, development of appropriate strategies to integrate genomics into breeding programs, and experience in identifying and utilizing genomic data and DNA-based markers in breeding programs. The training is delivered by internationally recognized experts in plant breeding and seed technology.  The program is held at the World Agroforestry Center in Nairobi, Kenya.

Who should attend? The course is targeted at plant breeders who manage plant breeding programs in Africa.  Attendees can be working on any African crop. Attendees are invited on a full scholarship based on applications for each class, which is currently limited to 35 participants.

For every new course, a call for application is issued and can be accessed here.

Frequency: Every 18 months

Duration: 6 weeks spread over 18 months