YIIFSWA-II participates in commercial plant tissue culture production training
On 17 January, YIIFSWA-II’s Tissue Culture Specialist, Morufat Balogun attended a one-day training on commercial plant tissue culture production hosted by Phytotech LABS in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
According to Balogun, the participants learned about plant tissue culture best practices and participated in hands-on training to bolster the theoretical lessons of the workshop. She said, “The training was a great refresher course that provided the opportunity to learn from one of the industry’s greats, Dr Mike Kane of the University of Florida, among others, as well as to keep up-to-date with current trends and development in plant tissue culture industry.”
With the institutionalization of formal seed systems, particularly for vegetatively propagated crops like yam, a tissue culture method known as micropropagation is widely used for the commercial production of quality planting material. The significant advantages of using micropropagation for commercial propagation of Early Generation Seed (EGS) tubers are that large numbers of true-to-type, disease-free plantlets can be obtained from a single plant in a short period, propagation can be done throughout the year, and propagating materials can be accommodated in a small space.
When asked how the knowledge was going to be utilized, Balogun stated: “The knowledge gained from the training will be used to backstop key partners involved in the production of EGS in Nigeria and Ghana. In 2019, the project facilitated the capacity building of key National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) and private organizations through training and the provision of infrastructure for EGS production.
“In 2020, these seed enterprises will embark on commercial EGS production to kick start the formal seed yam system. Therefore, the knowledge gained will enable us to provide them with up-to-date technical know-how and backstopping when the need arises,” she concluded.