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19 – 30 September 2016: Banana research in Africa: modern breeding techniques, regulatory and biosafety issues


This course aims at Africans engaged in banana improvement programs including as well scientists, regulators and lawyers to train them (1) in modern breeding techniques, (2) on how to collect relevant and reliable data to perform risk analysis and (3) how to communicate their scientific results and goals.
The program will give an overview of the most important banana diseases and how to address them through breeding as well as biotechnological approaches. The program continues with an overview of regulatory and risk assessment principles relevant to the African region. The participants will also obtain more insights in the metabolomics of banana, bioinformatics methods and banana processing. Finally, there is a two day workshop on how to communicate research findings and goals to a non-scientific audience and the public at large. The sessions will be interactive, including group work, presentations and discussions. The program also includes visits to confined field trials and local farmers.
Program: Click here


Students, scientists and professionals from the public and industrial sector, who are involved in local crop (banana) improvement or GM regulatory programs
Admission requirements:
  • ¬†Holder of Bachelor (or equivalent) in Science, Plant Biotechnology, Agricultural or Bioengineering Sciences
  • Good knowledge of English
  • Preference will be given to participants from Africa involved in breeding bananas
  • A balance between male and female participants will be achieved




Registration is free for participants from university or government institutions from the VLIR country list.
Registration fee for participants from university or government institutions from other countries: 250 Euro.
Registration fee for participants from industry: 500 Euro
After preregistration, you will receive an invoice. If you are not eligible for a scholarship, the course fee should be paid in order for your registration to be confirmed. Registration of participants who are granted a scholarship will be automatically completed.
A maximum of 25 participants will be accepted


A number of scholarships with support from VLIR-UOS for accomodation and travel expenses are available for applicants from the VLIR country list. Preference will be given to participants from the public sector from the East-African region (Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania) who are professionally involved in the topic.
Eligibility criteria:
1) STI-scholars must be nationals and residents in one of the 54 countries with which VLIR-UOS cooperates in its scholarship programme. The 54 countries include:
Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Laos, Nepal, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam.
Latin America: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay.
2) VLIR-UOS targets applicants from research institutes, higher education institutes, the government sector (nation-al/subnational), the sector of social economy, an international organization or an NGO, with expertise in matters relevant to development. Applicants from the commercial profit-sector without expertise in matters relevant to the development of a country are not eligible.
3) Previous applications and scholarships
A candidate can only receive 1 VLIR-UOS-scholarship per year
A candidate who was awarded a VLIR-UOS-scholarship before to participate in a ICP, ITP or STI can only be awarded a scholarship to participate in the STI if the STI has a thematical connection with the previously followed programme.


For more information, contact Sylvie De Buck


  • Prof. Dr. Godelieve Gheysen (Chairman, UGent, IPBO, Belgium)
  • Prof. Dr. Rony Swennen (Co-chairman, KULeuven, Belgium)
  • Dr. Jerome Kubiriba (Chairman-South, NARO, Uganda)
  • Dr. Sylvie De Buck (IPBO, VIB-UGent, Belgiu)
  • Dr. Marc Heijde (IPBO, VIB-UGent, Belgium)
  • Mrs. Annette Magala (NARO, Uganda)



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