On November 14 and 15, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in partnership with the Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), conducted a training workshop aiming to provide an overview of rice abiotic stress trials and the benefits of digital data collection.
The training was held at SUA, Morogoro, Tanzania and was participated by undergraduate and graduate students of the university as well as technicians and field staff from the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI). Throughout the 2-day program, the participants attended lectures on environmental characterization, relative growth rate, taking measurements using the Fieldbook app, stress screening protocols, and examples from physiology research. Aside from this, they also participated in several demonstrations in screenhouses on the use of rain gauge and soil hand texturing..
One of the highlights of the training was the hands-on activity where participants got to apply what they have learned in the lectures and discussions with the experts. Working in groups, the participants collected data in the screenhouses, formatted the data, calculated the relative growth rate (RGR), compared genotypic means by ANOVA, and visualized data with a bar graph using the R software. Notably, all analysis was done directly from the plant to the computer with no use of paper and pencil for data recording.
Participants also expressed their appreciation for the training. “I thank IRRI Education for this valuable training. The training was useful and has enlightened me with the knowledge and skills on rice characterization and digital data collection and will help my institute collect good quality data in our stress trials,” said Mr. Zakayo Machunde. Another participant Mr. Kalegi Nzingula Hamis noted, “I am thankful for the training because now I have added skills that will increase my working performance in my organization.”
Capping the sharing of testimonials, Mr. Paulo Sulle remarked “I highly recommend continuation of this type of courses to other scientists so to further strengthen the research capacity in the region”.