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Insect Resistant Maize for Africa (IRMA Project): annual report 2006

Year: 2007
ISBN: 970-648-151-6
Abstract: The IRMA project is aimed at producing stem borer resistant, locally adapted maize varieties for various Kenyan agro-ecological zones using conventional and biotechnology-mediated approaches, particularly Bt technology. Transgenic maize containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) genes is a focal point of the project. Public involvement and awareness, through events such as the annual stakeholder meetings, are emphasized in the project’s activities. The IRMA project is currently in its second phase (2004–2008), following the first phase in 1999–2003. In its maize improvement efforts using conventional breeding and genetic technologies, IRMA will strive to: be a model of good practice, serve as a pilot project for public-private partnership and cooperation, employ state of the art technology and methodology, and be transparent and open through ongoing dialogue with stakeholders. An external review of IRMA I was conducted in early 2003 to assess the project’s progress, shortcomings, and lessons learned, and to set the stage for formulating a business plan that would be presented to development partners with an interest in participating in the project after 2003. The review team commented that “achievements of IRMA I have been remarkable, and excellent work has been done by a highly motivated team.” It cited many examples of scientific work performed to very high standards. However, the review noted that the target product had not yet been delivered, which it attributed in large part to delays in the Kenyan biosafety regulatory process. The review team strongly endorsed a continuation of the project, as IRMA II, and stressed several points, among them increased KARI involvement in project management, and a greater share by KARI of the fundamental work, under the scientific leadership of CIMMYT. An IRMA II Project Plan was developed through a process that emphasized broad participation and transparency, especially when regulatory issues were being considered in 2003 and 2004. Ten themes were developed, which will be actualized by multidisciplinary and inter-institutional groups. This report is a record of activities of the project in 2006. The highlights for 2006 are: 1. Confined field trials of the nine public sector Bt maize events was completed 2. Two insect resistant maize OPVs were released by the NPT committee and nine insect resistant maize hybrids were nominated into NPT testing for 20006/2007 3. Second level of testing for effects on non-target organisms were initiated in the BGHC. 4. A draft IRM strategy was made that includes refugia using non-maize food crop and fodder species and takes into account wild hosts. 5. Kenya developed a biotechnology policy and is getting closer to developing a biosafety bill 6. Negotiations towards access of a private sector Bt maize event that targets the African stem borer Busseola fusca were advanced with a trait integration agreement being signed. 7. An analysis of seed maize sale by stockists in Kenya was done that helped in seed maize market segmentation and seed producers to package seed in accordance with farmers’ preferences. A study was started to measure the attitudes of maize sellers, processors and millers towards Genetically Modified (GM) foods in Kenya, building on an earlier one to IRMA consumer survey conducted in Nairobi to determine consumers’ awareness, attitudes and willingness to pay for GM crops focusing on supermarkets, kiosks and posho mills. 8. Seed was produced for various trials, while descriptors were developed for the new hybrids in the NPT. 9. Farmer evaluations were done to maize varieties in the NPT to review criteria in selection of maize varieties and constraints to maize production, and use the identified criteria to determine farmers preferred maize varieties. 10. Communication strategies were revamped with issue management matrix, presence in agricultural shows, and maintained print and electronic outputs. Detailed accounts of these activities are included in this report. Also included are brief summaries of presentations and discussions during the IRMA Project annual review and planning meetings of 2005 and 2006.
Format: PDF
Language: English
Publisher: KARI
Publisher: CIMMYT
Serie: IRMA Project Document
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Annual Report
Region: Africa
Place of Publication: Mexico
Pages: 140 pages
Serie Number: 27
Agrovoc: MAIZE
Agrovoc: ZEA MAYS

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  • Maize
    Maize breeding, phytopathology, entomology, physiology, quality, and biotech

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