A series of Position Papers have been drafted by the CGIAR Generation Challenge Programme (GCP) team in collaboration with external experts. The goals are to communicate the outputs and deliverables from each research component during 2004–2014, and to explore options for enabling and ensuring that the potential benefits of these components will be fully realised in the future.
This paper focuses on the outputs and options for GCP’s molecular breeding (MB) component. Outputs have been achieved through (a) collaborative work among three sets of actors: a broad network of partners in regional and country research programmes, the CGIAR and academia; and (b) through capacity enhancement to assist developing-world researchers to tap into new genetic diversity and access modern breeding tools and services.
GCP aims to demonstrate – through selected user cases – that molecular breeding (MB) approaches can have significant impact on crop productivity in developing countries. Improved germplasm, developed through MB, is the final product of that overall objective. Of a budget of USD 150 million spread over 11 years, about USD 22 million will have been invested in germplasm improvement (15% of GCP’s budget). GCP Phase I was devoted to building a network of partners to develop genomic, molecular and bioinformatics tools, and to execute capacity-building programmes in developing countries to facilitate crop breeding. The development and continuous improvement of each of these capabilities are essential for enabling increased crop productivity. Only by combining these components can drought tolerance in rainfed agriculture (GCP’s major target) be delivered in such a way that resource-poor farmers will receive tangible economic and social benefits and impacts.
GCP Management Team. White paper on GCP research components: Improved germplasm. Generation Challenge Programme, Mexico (2012) 15 pp.