I hope your start to the year is as good as it can be in this troubled world! Welcome to our first newsletter for 2022 which promises new beginnings, fresh strategies and opportunities to build on our achievements of the past, challenging, year.
COVID-19 has had wide-reaching ramifications for the development sector which has had to weather the storm of disrupted research, lost jobs and earnings not to mention lost investment as funding organisations have diverted their attention and responded to the pandemic.
Despite the challenges, the IBP continues to expand the deployment of its breeding management tool, the BMS, to more than 870 active users, (60% in Africa) across more than 35 countries with successful uptake of BMS Pro by 15 new clients during 2021. We are now deepening the deployment of our flagship product, BMS Pro, with v20 released in February.
We continue to support our broad community of BMS users in the private sector that range from one-person seed companies (Maniagro, Argentina) to international companies with multiple crops (Seed Co, Zimbabwe) as well as the public sector where our users may be involved in breeding programs at the national level (MERCI, Ethiopia) through to multi-crop international networks (CAIGE, Australia). We are also looking forward to enhancing the delivery of proven technologies for digitising plant breeding and seed value chains, especially at the regional level.
This newsletter will highlight the versatility of the BMS in supporting the digitisation of breeding activities across a range of situations, from continuing support to the CGIAR (One CGIAR), our NARS networks to our highly successful collaboration with Seed Co Ltd in Zimbabwe. We profile them in this edition of the newsletter.
I take this opportunity to welcome our new board Member, Elizabeth Sibale who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our Board. Elizabeth is currently Deputy Chief of Party for a USAID Feed the Future project- Malawi Agricultural Diversification Activity. Welcome Elizabeth! We also welcome to our management team, Mrs. Corina Habito, known to many of you, as our new Global Deployment Manager. Corina takes over from Graham McLaren who has retired. In this newsletter, you will also learn more about some of our key people.