December 5, 2019
Since 2015, the Fund has been supporting Genebank Operations and Advanced Learning (GOAL) Master Classes, aimed to introduce globally accepted standards for genebank management. The Crawford Fund’s 5th GOAL Master Class was held in late November, kindly hosted by the Plant Resources Center (PRC) at the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Michael Mackay, Honorary Associate Professor at the Centre for Crop Science at QAAFI, University and Queensland and gratefully supported by The Crop Trust.
The focus for this year’s master class was to expand concepts introduced in our 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 workshops, with particular emphasis on IT practices and data management in genebanks.
“This year’s master class strayed from the themes of the previous years in that it targeted data managers from the national and regional genebanks. The Crop Trust wanted to expose Asia-Pacific Region genebanks to GRIN-Global (GG), the scalable genebank information management tool developed by the USDA as well as reiterate other data related topics addressed in previous GOAL master classes.”
“The participants engaged in all presentations and ‘hands on’ sessions with obvious interest and enthusiasm. The current version of GG is much more user friendly than previous versions and, from the information provided by the GG trainers, the tool seems to be squarely aiming towards further enhancements to a more form-based client based interface,” Michael reported.
Feedback from participants was enthusiastic and one participant commented, “I extend my special thanks for providing me the opportunity to have orientation to GRIN-Global and other valuable information that was a great source of learning for me. It also provided me a chance to have connection with diverse participants from many countries.”
“Based on comments made during the GOAL master class and, probably more importantly, during ‘after hours’ informal discussions, most participants indicated their interest in deploying GG with the proviso that they receive additional exposure and training. There was significant expressions of interest in developing additional forms to improve ease of use by genebank staff.”
“I can state with certainty that it achieved its objectives and the Asia Pacific region genebanks that participated are very keen on further exposure and capacity building,” said Michael.