In July, SIL held two webinars on the Pan-African Soybean Variety Trial Data from Malawi and SIL's low-cost, locally-produced thresher. Recordings of the webinars and associated materials (presentations, reports) are available on our website.
In this webinar, Dr. Brian Diers summarizes the preliminary data from the Pan-African Soybean Variety Trials conducted in Malawi.
The Pan-African Soybean Variety Trials Program (PAVTP) is a soybean testing initiative implemented by a partnership among the Soybean Innovation Lab (SIL), the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA), the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF). The main objective of this cooperative program is to fast track the identification and commercial availability of new soybean varieties with higher yield and seed quality compared to the varieties currently available in Sub-Saharan Africa, dramatically expanding the quantity and quality of seed available to African growers. Diverse groups of international sources from the public and private sectors provide the 50+ new varieties under evaluation and cooperators conduct the multi-site trials in a uniform manner to ensure robust and usable data by the industry for registration and commercialization purposes.
On July 26th, SIL hosted an informational webinar showcasing its low-cost, locally-produced and locally-serviced multi-crop thresher. Mechanized threshing is a valuable tool in the reduction of post-harvest loss in grains and cereals because it can allow quicker removal of a crop from the field, reducing losses from shattering or disease and reducing exposure to birds, rodents and adverse weather.
On many smallholder farms, mechanical threshers can replace manual threshing by hand beating, a practice that often results in grain spillage, grain breakage and incomplete separation of the grain from the chaff. Manual threshing is also a very labor and time intensive process that results in high human energy expenditure and a high rate of drudgery in the agricultural system. The introduction of low-cost, locally-produced mechanized threshing systems in smallholder agriculture can significantly reduce post-harvest loss in staple food grains.
For more information on these and our other events, please visit soybeaninnovationlab.illinois.edu.