ICRISAT - Kenya Regional Genebank: Conserving and maintaining germplasm for today and future generation

ICRISAT - Kenya Genebank is a regional genebank established by ICRISAT in 1998, situated at Kiboko Research Station 157 km from Nairobi in Kenya. The ICRISAT-Kenya Regional Genebank serves as a bio-reservoir for five of the ICRISAT mandate crops, including, namely sorghum, pearl millet, chickpea, pigeonpea, and finger millet. The regional Genebank was established to meet the growing demand for germplasm of mandate crops from African countries. Its main purpose is to preserve plant genetic material that can be used to enhance crop breeding and production systems with the sole aim of improving the health and livelihoods of the farmers in the region. ICRISAT’s breeding programs are based on the Genebank material, specially the locally adapted accessions. NARS are also important users.

The ICRISAT - Kenya Regional Genebank aims to:

  1. Conserve plant genetic material for crop variety preservation for Eastern and Southern Africa, thereby intensifying research and crop improvement.

  2. Cater for farmers’ preferences through preservation and easy dissemination of preferred materials.

  3. Promote seed health and crop production through the distribution of healthy and highly vigorous seed.

  4. Amplify resilience by enhancing small grain seed systems in order to mitigate the detrimental effects of climate change.

  5. Combat malnutrition through the promotion of healthy, nutrient-dense small grains.

  6. Support training of NARS, students and other seed value chain actors.

  7. Enhance germplasm utilization by research institutions, private companies and individual farmers.

The Regional genebank is currently (June 2018) conserving 9,806 germplasm accessions, including Indian and African material among which of Sorghum (3,610), Pearl millet (2,547), Finger millet (2,782), Pigeonpea (654) and Chickpea (289).

The collection in medium term storage is stored in aluminum cans at a temperature range of 0-5°C and relative humidity of not more that 30%, and is available for distribution to both the private and public sectors, farmers, institutions and any other organization upon request and SMTA accordingly to the International Treaty for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Dr. NVPR Ganga Rao

Dr NVPR Ganga Rao

Principal Scientist - Breeding
Dr. Henry Fred Ojulong

Dr. Henry Fred Ojulong

Senior Scientist - Breeding
Dr. Eric Manyasa

Dr. Eric Manyasa

Senior Scientist - Cereals Breeding

Mandate crops

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