South and Southeast Asia Discussion on Plant Breeding Capacity Wraps Up

01/04/2009For six weeks in February and March plant breeders and others in South and Southeast Asia debated and shared experiences in an on-line forum about the results of surveys on plant breeding capacity in the region. The forum was sponsored by the Global Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building (GIPB), a global platform for harnessing plant genetic resources for development. In spite of the increasing numbers of researchers involved in plant breeding in the region, the inadequate number for each crop is still considered the most important limitation. Across countries the constraints are reported to be fairly similar: not enough people, inadequate level of education of plant breeders, more financial resources needed, and field and laboratory facilities need to be upgraded. One of the main indications of the lack of prioritizing plant breeding capacity is the fact that rice yields have not increased per unit area over the past decade in most countries. GIPB aims to mobilize partners with common interests in facing the global challenges of food production. Results of the global survey on plant breeding capacity are found at http://km.fao.org/gipb/pbbc/.