Archive for February, 2010

Are we there yet?

After almost three years of searching, compiling, writing, reviewing, editing and correcting, the site has taken shape into a useful source of knowledge on how best to manage crop genetic resources.  There have been many new learning experiences and challenges along the way, balancing important work on the CGKB with other urgent tasks that fill our days as custodians of some of the world’s most important crop diversity.  We have worked across time zones, by email and Skype, as small groups working together or working alone when partners didn’t reply or come through with the information on time, but in the end, we just did it! So as we work on final changes, the end is in sight – or is it?  Yes we have a product, yes it is available, but is it ever really finished?  In the past with manuals we did all of the same things to package the information and then we published it and it was done.  We could do that with the CGKB and say that is it is finished and is being used but how much better if we support the dynamic knowledge base that we created and continue to improve and expand it.  So are we there yet?


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More training courses that feature the CGKB

Amman, Jordan:

On 30 and 31 January 2010 took place the Regional workshop on genebank management and documentation in the Near East and North Africa, in Amman, Jordan. This was now the second opportunity after the workshop in Korea last September to present the knowledge base to a group of about 15 participants from more than 10 countries. This workshop was the first activity within a recently created regional PGR network and participants were heads of genebanks,  responsibles for PGR work in their country, researchers. They were very glad to learn about this website and here below are some written comments they provided, after having navigated the site on their own for some time.

  • Most important part: procedures, even small details are explained, very clear, every step is clarified. Web site will be a great reference for me to strengthen my knowledge about genebank management.
  • Very useful in general. In particular the practices for regeneration that we miss in our genebank in NCARE (National Research Center for Agricultural Research and Extension, Amman, Jordan)
  • Technical information is sufficient for any genebank to start working on scientific basis

Among the crops mentioned that would be important for that region to be included in the CGKB, are cotton, sorghum,  cowpea,  stone fruit trees, grapes, olive, citrus, vegetables (tomato, Vigna, Phaseolus, faba beans, snake cucumber).

They were very glad to discover that we have regeneration guidelines in Arabic, and some of them indeed commented that translations would be very useful.


Ahmed Amri from ICARDA is participating in a national training course on genebank management these days (1-4 February) in Qatar and will present the knowledge base to participants. I gave him the sheets I used to gather written feedback to do so also this week in Qatar. Let’s see what feedback he will provide


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