August 2, 2016
Cassava viruses and cassava whiteflies are threatening food security globally but especially in East Africa. Molecular identification is the only way to detect both the viruses and whiteflies and the analyses techniques to identify the species is needed in Kenya.
Supported by the Crawford Fund, a ‘Bioinformatics Tools for Species Identification’ training program was carried out in Nairobi, Kenya in June. The training was organised and run by Professor Ateka from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, and Senior Research Fellow Dr Laura Boykin from the University of Western Australia. The aim was to train in the use of diagnostic tools to identify whiteflies and whitefly-transmitted viruses which compromise global agriculture (including Australia).
The overall outcome of the training—increased capacity in Kenya to identify whiteflies and plant viruses threatening global food security—has exceeded the expectations of the trainers.