Wheat rust is a disease that can cause significant reductions in wheat yield. For Kenyan smallholder farmers, this can result in losses of up to 100% of annual harvests which impacts both nutrition and livelihoods. The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), the John Innes Centre (JIC) and international partners have recently launched a research project, commissioned by the UK-CGIAR Centre, which will utilise genetic innovation in breeding strategies to increase the rust resistance of locally adapted wheat varieties in the Global South.

In April, KALRO invited a team from JIC and the Norwich Institute for Sustainable Development to Njoro in Kenya’s Rift Valley to start screening new, improved wheat varieties, which were sowed earlier in the year, for rust resistance.

In this video, scientists at KALRO and JIC explain why breeding more rust resilient wheat varieties in Kenya is of vital importance and outline why science partnerships will be central to achieving the project’s objectives.


Professor Cristobal Uauy

Professor Diane Saunders

Dr Godwin Macharia

Dr Zennah Kosgey