Participatory Plant Breeding and Resilient Seed Systems

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Please note that, at this stage, this event is fully booked. Nevertheless, you are most welcome to register for this event, and accordingly, we will place you in a waiting list. Should any of the registered participants cancel his/her registration (which is quite common), we will notify you and ask you whether you would still like to participate in this event. If we do not contact you again with respect to this event, you may assume that no vacancies have arisen.

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Postgraduate course

Participatory Plant Breeding &
Resilient Seed Systems

Monday 30 November - Friday 4 December 2020

Conference Centre De Werelt, Lunteren, the Netherlands

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Resilient seed systems play a central role in sustainable food systems that are robust, dynamic, equitable, diverse, healthy and interconnected. Developing and strengthening these systems offers vital entry points for responding to critical global challenges of climate change, agricultural biodiversity, and sustainable development. Training in participatory breeding and seed system concepts, issues and approaches will support engaged professionals and graduate students to contribute to resilient seed system development. This course serves professionals who seek longer-term solutions for sustainable, agro-ecological agriculture and answers to the question: How can food systems be moved forward in the South and the North?
Key aspects of this course include:

  • Concepts, strategies, methods and experiences with decentralised and participatory approaches to plant breeding and seed system development to increase agrobiodiversity and cope with climate changes
  • Governance issues such as seed quality control, property rights, co-ownership and benefit sharing
  • Specific approaches for different crop types and socio-economic contexts
  • Multi-actor approaches, collaborative learning, knowledge sharing and networking approaches to engage food system and value chain actors into participatory plant breeding and resilient seed system programs
  • The interaction of technical solutions and social choices: considering trade-offs and issues of inclusion/social equity and other values

This course may be of particular interest for programs and partners engaged in seed system development and is supported by Global Alliance for the Future of Food, EU projects Liveseed and Dynaversity, and the Root Tuber and Bananas CRP.

Preliminary programme

Sunday afternoon (before dinner) the course starts off with an introduction lecture by Salvatore Ceccarelli (Rete Semi Rurali, Italy).
After dinner there will be a poster carousel in which participants present themselves, their research and interest in the course (5 - 10 minutes) after which there is 5-10 minutes for discussion.

From Monday - Thursday, each morning starts with 3 - 4 lectures (30 - 45 minutes each), followed by a 30-minute discussion convened by 2 - 3 participants:

Monday 30 November - Technical Breeding aspects

  • Veronique Chable (INRA - Rennes, Dynaversity)
  • Monica Messmer (FiBL-CH, Liveseed)
  • Baloua Nebie (ICRISAT - Burkina Faso/Mali)

Tuesday 1 December - Involving actors of the value chain

  • Martha Willcox (Cimmyt - Mexico, GAFF)
  • Jane Rabinowics (USC - Canada, GAFF) To be confirmed
  • Margret McEwan (OFSP - Africa, RTB) 

Wednesday 2 December - Creating innovative seed systems

  • Conny Almekinders (WUR, RTB Africa)
  • Edith Lammerts van Bueren (WUR)
  • Eva Weltzien (University of Wisconsin)

Thursday 3 December - Policy options

  • Bert Visser (Oxfam Novib)
  • Margaret McEwan (OFSP - Africa, RTB)
  • Marja Thijssen/Abishkar Subedi (WUR, ISSD Africa) To be confirmed
  • Riccardo Bocci (RSR, Dynaversity)

In the afternoons, participants will work in small groups on a project proposal related to PPB supporting a seed system intervention perspective, and do literature research.
On Wednesday afternoon a field exersion will be organised.

Friday morning the groups will present the outcome of their work. Departure will be after lunch.

General information
Target Group This workshop is aimed at PhD candidates, postdocs, and other academics.
Group Size Min. 20, max. 30 participants
Course duration 5 days
Language of instruction English
Number of credits 2 ECTS
Prior knowledge Basic knowledge about plant breeding and/or seed systems is recommendable.
Location Conference Centre De Werelt, Lunteren, the Netherlands
Fees 1
a) PE&RC / EPS / WASS PhD candidates with an approved TSP
b) GAFF / Dynaversity / Liveseed participants
€ 350,- € 400,-
a) All other PhD candidates
b) Postdocs and staff of the above mentioned Graduate Schools
€ 750,- € 800,-
All others € 1.100,- € 1.150,-

1 The course fee includes accommodation, all meals, course materials, coffee/tea, and water. It does not include beverages in the bar.
2 The Early-Bird Fee applies to anyone who REGISTERS ON OR BEFORE 30 September 2020


  • Please be aware that any trips that you book are at your own risk. If these trips can not take place due to extension of Covid-19 measures we cannot reimburse you
  • If you need an invoice to complete your payment, please send an email to, including ALL relevant details that should be mentioned on the invoice (e.g., purchase order no., specific addresses, attendees, etc.).
  • The Early-Bird policy is such that the moment of REGISTRATION (and not payment) is leading for determining the fee that applies to you.
PE&RC Cancellation Conditions
  • Up to 4 (four) weeks prior to the start of the course, cancellation is free of charge.
  • Up to 2 (two) weeks prior to the start of the course, a fee of € 350,- will be charged.
  • In case of cancellation within two weeks prior to the start of the course, a fee of € 750,- will be charged.
  • If you do not show at all, a fee of € 1.100,- will nevertheless be charged.

Note: If you would like to cancel your registration, ALWAYS inform us and do not assume that by NOT paying the participation fee, your registration is automatically cancelled, because it isn't (and do note that you will be kept to the cancellation conditions).

Workshop Organisers
More information Edith Lammerts van Bueren (WUR)
Phone: +31 (0)6 10919736

Dr. Claudius van de Vijver (Graduate School PE&RC)
Phone: +31 (0) 317 485116


To register, please enter your details below and click "Register".