National Agriculture Research Institute

Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), National Semi arid Resources Research Institute (NaSARRI)


Clemson University, Cornell University, Integrated Breeding Platform

Objective areas

Breeding informatics, Phenomics


Malawi, Uganda

Project duration


The lack of digital tools available for seedlot and inventory management is a weak link in germplasm conservation and plant breeding. Moreover, the inability to effectively manage, store, and characterize seedlots is hindering the speed and efficiency at which breeding programs can access unique germplasm and operate.

As breeding programs migrate toward a digital data ecosystem, the negative impacts of current systems will only become more obvious and severe. Creating the tools and workflows necessary to actively manage seedlot inventories will enable breeders to develop improved crop varieties more rapidly and efficiently.

This project aims to develop the strategies, tools, operations, and workflows necessary to streamline and modernize how breeding programs manage and interact with their seedlot inventory systems. Two nascent breeding programs at ILCI’s Centers of Innovation (CICI-ESA in Malawi) and (CIFMS in Uganda) will serve as model programs for development and implementation.

Project objectives include:

  • Install the infrastructure necessary to safely store seedlots being used for plant breeding (both nationally and regionally) and, to some extent, genetics research (including refrigeration, sealed rooms, desiccants, etc.).
  • Install the necessary equipment for modern plant breeding programs (including weigh scales, barcode scanners, label printers, envelopes, phones/tablets, etc.) and develop institutional protocols for the use and maintenance of this equipment.
  • Enhance the functionality of the seed inventory management features in the Breeding Management System (BMS) and develop API calls (UI) to integrate the future Seedlot App.
  • Improve the ability of the CoIs to distribute germplasm and seedlots both nationally and regionally.

The next phase of this project will develop tools for seedlot and germplasm inventory management and improve the functionality of the inventory management features currently available in the Breeding Management System.

Project leaders

Scovia Adikini

Principal Investigator, CIFMS (Uganda)

Michael Chipeta

Principal Investigator, CICI-ESA (Malawi)

Stephen Kresovich

ILCI director

Jean-Marcel Ribaut (IBP)

Director, Integrated Breeding Platform

Trevor Rife

Phenomics co-lead

Kelly Robbins

Breeding informatics lead