The Seed Enterprise Management Institute (SEMIs) project at CAVS successfully held its first scheduled course on seed production field diagnostics. The one week course was attended by 24 participants from 11 Sub-Saharan African countries. At the start of the course, the trainees laid their expectations of the course which ranged from; managing pests and diseases in beans, insect identification and control, managing diseases of nuts among others. The participants were instructed on a number of key topics which included; the seed value chain, insect pests, weeds, diseases and their management and crop inspection procedures.
Apart from lectures, laboratory practicals and field sessions were held at CAVS where the course attendants were engaged in hands-on activities to instill the theories. Laboratory practical sessions were held at Botany lab, department of plant science where insect infested crops and diseased plants were availed for studies at different days. Similarly, weed plants were also availed however participants were also moved to the Field station crop lands where they instilled elaborate skills on scouting for pests and disease identification.
As the course progressed, field visits were made to KEPHIS Muguga, KEPHIS Lanet and KALRO Njoro where more practical sessions in laboratories and field were held. This provided a platform for participants to ask pertinent questions on regulations and control of pests and diseases by government bodies.
Take home message for participants
The Participants trained from the various seed companies acknowledged the depth of knowledge SEMIs presenters had. They attested to fact that the training had refreshed their minds on aspects of pest management and seed value chain as a whole. At the same time, they marveled at how SEMIs team was well organized with respect to training and hospitality.