Professor Eric Yirenkyi Danquah, Director, West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana and President of the African Plant Breeders Association (APBA), will open the second APBA Conference in Kigali, Rwanda on October 25.
A statement issued by the University of Ghana and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the conference would discuss current research outputs and outcomes in plant-breeding and related disciplines.
It said the conference, to be held on the theme, "Accelerating Genetic Gains in Plant Breeding for Resilience and Transformative Food Systems and Economic Growth in Africa", would feature plenary sessions and panel discussions by leading plant breeders in Africa and beyond.
It noted that the APBA's second Plant Breeding Conference would build the needed capacity to improve staple foods in Africa by presenting tangible solutions to governments, seed companies, non-governmental organisations, academia and farmers.
"Strategic partnerships and urgent action in the area of genetic innovation are needed to develop resilient, nutritious and productive varieties of Africa's staple crops. It is this urgent need that led to the formation of APBA, which is now supported by important consultations such as those that will be held at the plant-breeding conference in Kigali," Prof Danquah said.
The statement said WACCI and its partners would also administer five pre-conference workshops to the 600 leading scientists and students from different research institutions and organisations across the world who had confirmed attendance.
Key speakers at the Conference are: Dr Agnes Kalibata, President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA); Madam Josefa Leonel Correia Sacko, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment, African Union Commission and Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana, Rwanda's Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources.
Others are: Dr Barbara H. Wells, Global Director, Genetic Innovation at Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR); Dr Robert Bertram, Chief Scientist, USAID's Bureau for Resilience and Food Security; Dr Ousmane Badiane, AKADEMIYA2063's Executive Chairman and Madam Aggie Konde, AGRA's Vice President of Program Development and Innovation.
The statement said taking a hybrid mode of attendance, with both in-person and virtual audience, the Conference would be organised under the hashtag #APBAConf2021.