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On Monday, 14th August 2023, the team visited NemAfrica lab, ICIPE campus, where they were received by a vibrant team led by Dr. Danny Coyne, Soil Health Scientist and in-charge of NemAfrica lab.  Here they received insightful information on PCN and a demonstration of procedure/protocol for extracting PCN from a soil sample as well as on extracting Rootnode nematodes. Screening of PCN as well biological control measures for PCN, including production of healthy seedlings using soilless media.

The practical-oriented knowledge-sharing sessions on the same date at Kevian Ltd/Hanna Roses equipped the team with the much-needed knowledge and skills on rooted apical cutting (RAC) technology. They also had the opportunity to learn about large-scale cut-flower production in Kenya.

On Tuesday, 15th August 2023, the team received practical sessions on LAMP Assay diagnostics from Elly Atieno at CIP while Dr. Eric Magembe, Molecular Biologist at CIP, took them on a tour of the Biotechnology/Genomic facility located at the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA- ILRI Hub) to see and appreciate genetic engineering work carried out by CIP on potato.

Before traveling back to Rwanda, the team thanked all their trainers and their host and promised to apply their newly acquired diagnostics skills to roll out PCN activities and to introduce RAC in Rwanda. On behalf of the team, Theophile summarized their experience in Kenya as follows:

We are so grateful to CIP, KEPHIS, ICIPE NemAfrica lab, and Kevian/Hanna Roses for sharing their expert knowledge and skills with us during the training/visit. We gained so much from the practical-oriented training and demonstrations during the visits. We appreciate all the methodologies, practices, protocols, and skills that we learned during the training/visit. From potato virus cleaning and indexing to initiation of explants to TC, thermotherapy, meristem extraction/culture, NCM-ELISA, DAS-ELISA, TAS-ELISA, PCN identification and extraction, screening and biological control of PCN, rooted apical cutting technology to LAMP ASSAY theory and practical’s session. The tour to CIP Biotechnology/genomic facility enabled us to see and appreciate the ongoing genetic engineering work on potato

I’m confident the training will have an impact on the production of quality EGS seed potatoes at RAB and equally an impact on seed certification protocols at RICA. I am sure we shall have some cross-pollination of ideas/innovations from the visit”. Dinah who coordinated the training/visit concluded.

Prepared by Dr Dinah Borus, CIP, Nairobi, Kenya

Source of original article: International Potato Center (
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