31 March 2023

The 1000FARMS project is a significant partnership between several organizations aimed at establishing an Africa-wide network for on-farm testing. The project, which is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has partnered with the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, IITA, CIMMYT, INN University (until early 2023), and Wageningen University to implement this program. Its primary focus is to address the lack of substantial on-farm data to evaluate the performance of breeding products in African breeding networks and programs. The project’s use of digital technologies, crowdsourced citizen science, and data science ensures that breeding programs can have accurate data to make better decisions and ensure that new varieties are high-performing, farmer-preferred, climate-adapted, and can be recommended for scaling. This approach allows the project to match breeding products with production environment and market contexts, while considering farmer preferences.  

Recently, the project held its first in-person annual stakeholders meeting in Tanzania. The meeting brought together 50 participants, including funders, partners from CGIAR, national agricultural research and extension services, government officials, and private industry representatives. The meeting aimed to provide a deeper understanding of on-farm testing through practical sessions and pitch exercises and provided an opportunity for participants to interact and gain practical insights into the project.  

If you are interested in getting a glimpse of the insights in the field of on-farm testing and digital technologies, you can download the 2023 annual meeting report from CGSpace. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the discussions, feedback, and insights received during the meeting and how they will be used to develop a workplan for this year.