DRC-CBSD project holds activity planning workshop for 2019–2020
The IITA Actions to control Cassava Brown Streak Disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) project (DRC-CBSD Project), held its fourth workshop and final planning for year 2019–2020 activities. The annual meeting took place in the city of Mbanza-Ngungu in Kongo-Central, DRC, from 17 to 19 September.
Representatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Institut National pour l’Etude et la Recherche Agronomiques (INERA), and IITA, the three key partner institutions of the project, attended the event and welcomed participants in their opening remarks.
The three-day workshop was conducted in two parts: firstly, to review the activities implemented for the 2018–2019 fiscal year and assess the status of achievements in relation to project indicators as well as identification of the gaps and challenges. The second part was dedicated to the development of the work plan for the coming fiscal year.
The review of implemented activities included presentations by the national partners and discussions on different topics related to project outputs. Some activities in progress were labeled essential. These include the screening trials for resistance and tolerance of promising genotypes to two distinct pathologies, particularly CBSD in South Kivu and cassava root necrosis disease (CRND) in Kongo-Central; the strengthening the capacity of research partners and other service providers; and the continuation of socioeconomic surveys in the eastern provinces, namely North and South Kivu, and the province of Tshopo.
The highlight of the meeting was to segregate CRND and CBSD as separate constraints, as recommended last year in the planning meeting at Mbujimayi. CRND has been considered a viral infection for a long time, with similar necrotic symptoms in tuber roots to CBSD but was recently confirmed not to be a viral disease. A request was made for this to be considered in planning activities.
As a result, activities on CBSD should focus on the Eastern provinces and those related to CRND in the western and Central provinces. There have been reports of both diseases occurring in Tshopo Province.
The work plan was developed around project outputs by constituting four different working groups as follows:
Output 1: Disease, epidemiology/surveys, surveillance, and insect genetic diversity
Output 2: Crop protection and breeding/variety development
Output 3: Multiplication and quality management of planting materials
Output 4: Capacity building and awareness, monitoring and evaluation.
On the third day, a field visit of the activities was done at INERA-Mvuazi station, where breeding trials and multiplication of planting materials are conducted.
Participants at the workshop included USAID delegate, Mr Augustin Kadima, and delegates of the Agriculture Ministry services, in particular those of the National Seed Service (SENASEM), as well as the researchers from IITA-DRC (Kinshasa and Bukavu), those from INERA, and the Universities of Kinshasa and Kisangani (UNIKIN, UNIKIS). Other participants included the FAO, the HarvestPlus Program, WAVE Project, Plant Clinic as well as some members of the private sector, including seed agri-multipliers.