Crop Protection

2Blades Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)

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13 April 2024, Kenya: 2Blades announced an important collaboration with Kenya’s leading agricultural research institution, the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), as part of its activities since launching its program on Asian Soybean Rust last year.

The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), during a recent meeting in Nairobi. The MOU expresses a shared desire to collaborate for purposes of introducing Asian soybean rust (ASR) resistance genes into high-performing tropical soybean varieties for Africa. Specifically, 2Blades will leverage its proprietary tools and resources to develop a set of ASR resistance genes using local germplasm (seeds) provided by KALRO. The aim is to deliver improved soybean varieties for smallholder farmers in Kenya.

“2Blades has enjoyed success in our ASR program through effective collaborations with commercial and industry partners in Brazil. As we expand our work to Kenya, we are happy to memorialize our mutual interest to benefit soybean growers in Kenya with KALRO,” stated Diana Horvath, President & Co-Founder of 2Blades.  

Following successful work identifying novel sources of genetic resistance to ASR for North and South America, 2Blades is now applying their extensive experience and knowledge to local soybean varieties in Africa. 2Blades has been building and expanding a consortium of public and private partners, such as KALRO, throughout the African agricultural innovation chain to de-risk and deliver ASR-resistant soy for Africa.   

This MOU comes at a critical time for smallholder farmers as a growing number of African countries have prioritized soybean and expanded its cultivation. Soybean is a highly versatile crop that carries strong economic value for smallholder farmers, yet increases in soybean production have been met with increased occurrences of Asian soybean rust (ASR), a fast-moving, aggressive disease that can destroy up to 90% of a soybean crop within just 3 weeks of initial infection. Caused by the airborne fungus, Phakopsora pachyrhizi, ASR is already the leading cause of yield loss in Africa.

Also Read: The Dominance of Lok-1: Madhya Pradesh’s Leading Wheat Variety

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