Africa Vegetable Breeding Consortium 

Annual Workshop 

8-10 September 2020
WorldVeg West and Central Africa – Coastal & Humid Regions
Cotonou, Benin



A Research Partnership for Success


The vegetable seed sector in Africa is undergoing rapid change. Research and development are becoming increasingly important for vegetable seed companies as market competition intensifies.

The Africa Vegetable Breeding Consortium (AVBC) is a joint initiative of the World Vegetable Center and the Africa Seed Trade Association (AFSTA) aimed at promoting the development of a strong vegetable seed sector in Africa.

Established in 2018, the AVBC helps companies to:

Learn about the latest developments in vegetable breeding research from the WorldVeg team of internationally renowned plant breeders
Obtain improved breeding material (varieties, inbred lines and hybrids) to enhance your cultivar catalogs
Meet breeders, pathologists, entomologists, and other researchers to strengthen your knowledge network
Share experiences with colleagues from other vegetable seed companies operating in Africa
Invest in joint projects with other consortium members that target the specific needs of their companies

AVBC membership is open only to AFSTA members in good standing. The consortium focuses on African eggplant, amaranth, onion, pumpkin, mungbean, pepper (chili and sweet), and tomato. The AVBC aims to support companies of all sizes, including small, regional and international companies.

WorldVeg, a non-profit agricultural research and development institute, strives to realize the potential of vegetables for healthier lives and more resilient livelihoods. WorldVeg carries out its mission by forming research partnerships with government, non-governmental, and private sector organizations to conserve and utilize vegetable biodiversity, improve vegetable varieties, and increase vegetable production, marketing and consumption.

BENEFITS for consortium companies

Annual Workshop at the World Vegetable Center

  • WorldVeg will organize one workshop per year for AVBC members in one of its Regional Offices (Arusha, Tanzania or Cotonou, Benin) to demonstrate new outputs of its vegetable improvement programs, discuss results from trials of WorldVeg breeding lines by AVBC members at their own field sites, and other topics of mutual interest. The dates and format of the workshop will be decided annually by WorldVeg and AFSTA.
  • Each consortium member may send a representative to participate in the workshop. WorldVeg will cover the following costs of the designated representative:

– workshop and material fees;

– meals and coffee breaks at the workshop;

– airport transfers and site visits during the workshop; and

– lodging for up to three nights.

Any other costs not noted above, such as flight tickets and visa fees, shall be borne by the consortium member.

  • Consortium members may send additional workshop participants, but will be charged separately for this at a rate determined by WorldVeg.
  • The workshop will include:

– scientific presentations about ongoing WorldVeg research and other topics of mutual interest;

– sharing of screening protocols; and

– field trials of improved breeding lines from WorldVeg and AVBC members (subject to weather and field conditions).

  • Workshop proceedings will be distributed electronically to all consortium members.
  • Workshop participants will have the opportunity to hold discussions individually or in groups, by appointment, with WorldVeg scientists during or the day after the workshop.
  • The AVBC Workshop 2020 will be held at the WorldVeg regional office for West and Central Africa – Coastal and Humid Regions, Cotonou, Benin, 8-10 September 2020.

Lead ACCESS to WorldVeg Germplasm

  • Consortium members will be granted lead access to inbred lines and/or elite synthetic varieties included in WorldVeg replicated preliminary yield trials (PYT) in Africa—an advanced testing stage from which WorldVeg selects entries for its ‘online seed catalog’ ( PYT entries will not be publicly available through the online seed catalog for 12 months after the workshop. WorldVeg will carry out the PYT at one of its African Regional Offices at the time of the workshop for viewing and selection purposes by consortium members.
  • Consortium members will be given approximately a 12-month lead access to new PYT entries before distribution to non-members.
  • In addition to new PYT entries, some WorldVeg breeding programs may offer sets of lines to increase the genetic diversity of the consortium members’ breeding programs. These sets might include older elite lines of a given crop, sources of resistance/tolerance to abiotic (heat) or biotic (disease, insect) stresses. These sets would not be under consortium lead access and consortium members would pay standard shipping and handling fees.
  • WorldVeg cannot warrant or guarantee the receipt of the seeds requested by the consortium member within a certain time, as WorldVeg has no control over the import laws and requirements in the country where the consortium member is located.

Consortium members can obtain lines from the PYT and the WorldVeg seed catalog by submitting a request during or after the workshop. WorldVeg will dispatch the seed within 30 days after the request, provided all import requirements are met. The consortium member shall advise WorldVeg in advance of any specific import requirements.

  • Lead access to lines in the African PYT will be granted to AVBC members. During the 12-month lead access, these materials may be used and commercialized within the continent of Africa.
  • WorldVeg may offer hybrids and/or elite synthetic varieties to consortium members to test and license from WorldVeg in separate commercialization agreements on a competitive bid basis. In such cases, WorldVeg may provide breeder seed of the hybrid parents and the consortium member will be responsible for necessary registration and commercial seed production.
  • All transfers of seeds from WorldVeg to consortium members will be subject to WorldVeg’s material transfer agreement applicable at the time of transfer.

Request for up to Ten (10) Free Seed Accessions or Lines per Year

Each consortium member is entitled to request up to ten (10) free seed accessions or lines per year, which can include the inbred lines and/or elite synthetic lines from the African PYT and/or publicly available lines in the WorldVeg online seed catalog.

Test WorldVeg Breeding Lines

If mutually agreeable, WorldVeg may send selected lines to consortium members annually for on-station observation nurseries, evaluation trials or demonstrations, and discuss future variety development work. The protocols for conducting these trials will be shared by WorldVeg.

Visits by WorldVeg Scientists

Depending on the interest of the consortium member, WorldVeg breeders/scientists will try to arrange a visit to the consortium member station once or twice annually to view breeding trials, discuss topics of mutual interest, and allow WorldVeg staff to better understand the needs of the consortium member.

Special Projects

Consortium members and WorldVeg will discuss any additional collaborative efforts, both bilaterally and among the group of consortium members, which would be formalized in separate agreements.


Consortium members will receive news and information of potential interest from time to time through an e-newsletter and annual report from WorldVeg.

Training Opportunities

Staff from consortium companies receive preferential access and a 20% discount on tuition for WorldVeg-offered training. This benefit extends to all employees of consortium members.

It’s a partnership

The Africa Vegetable Breeding Consortium is a partnership for the exchange of information to benefit all members. Consortium members are expected to provide:

• Regular feedback from evaluation trials of improved breeding lines. WorldVeg scientists will specify the traits to be monitored and provide experimental protocols.

• Feedback on trait development that consortium companies would like WorldVeg breeding programs to pursue. This information will be gathered through a survey questionnaire among consortium members, and through discussions at the annual workshops.

• Data on annual seed sales (in metric tons per variety per year) and information on which traits from WorldVeg were used for each variety. For some traits, it is possible to say they came from WorldVeg, while for other traits more than one source may have been used, which can then be indicated.

Featured crops


Join the Africa Vegetable Breeding Consortium!

Ready to take your company to the next level? Join the Africa Vegetable Breeding Consortium and discover how exposure to the latest research and closer contact with international breeders and scientists will change the way you do breeding and business.

Consortium membership is open to all AFSTA members in good standing. The consortium term is a calendar year from 1 January to 31 December.

• Multinational companies (offices on at least 2 continents): US$6000.00 per year
• Regional companies (offices in at least 2 countries on the same continent): US$4000.00 per year
• Local companies (offices in only 1 country): US$2000.00 per year

Consortium fees are non-refundable. 

Peter Hanson, Global Plant Breeding – Lead Scientist
World Vegetable Center West and Central Africa – Coastal & Humid Regions
IITA-Benin Campus, 08 BP 0932 Tri Postal
Cotonou, Benin

Consortium brochure