Biotech Updates

Project on Under-Studied Crops in Eastern and Central Africa

February 24, 2012

The Biosciences eastern and central Africa Hub, International Livestock Research Institute (BecA-ILRI Hub) hosted an inception workshop for a new project which will explore the current knowledge and research focus on tissue culture and plant transformation methods for under-studied crops in the region. The workshop was attended by 22 scientists from across 16 institutes from Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda,Tanzania, Uganda and was facilitated by the BecA hub with its partners from Switzerland and Australia.

The participants identified several under-studied crops to focus on for this project including enset, yam, taro, rose apple, baobab, passion fruit, and garlic. It is expected that tissue culture protocols for the production of improved planting materials and/or conservation for these crops will be developed as part of a three-year program funded by the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs through Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The program supports biosciences research, development and related capacity building, in an effort to address food security issues in Africa.

For more information on the project, contact Ethel Makila, communications officer at BecA Hub at