The Insectary will be critical to the development of seed traits that can combat local yield-robbing pests, such as the fall armyworm.
The DNA and dispersal patterns of pests can vary across geographies. For example, the fall armyworm destroying crops in Africa has a different genetic code than its relatives in other parts of the world.
As a result, seed traits that effectively combat a pest in one region may not be as effective in another.
At the Insectary, researchers will have the resources to develop traits to combat the specific pests harming crops in Africa and create seed technologies that can be sold on the African market.
Research collaboration for crops millions of people eat
The private sector is also collaborating with international research institutions to develop seed technologies for small-scale farmers in dryland regions across Africa and India.
In April 2018, Corteva Agriscience™ and the International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) announced a partnership to share high-tech breeding technologies to improve the productivity and resilience of sorghum and millet.
Sorghum and millet are drought-resistant crops and essential sources of human and animal nutrition in dryland regions.
Media Release: ICRISAT and @corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division of @DowDuPontCo, Collaborate for Sharing Advanced #Breeding Technologies to Improve Crops that Feed Millions https://t.co/TI9F35lFjJ #partnership #AgriculturalResearch #PlantBreeding pic.twitter.com/V1ZLYBdzS0
— ICRISAT (@ICRISAT) April 12, 2018
Advanced seed breeding technologies, including CRISPR-Cas, will be used to improve the environmental adaptability and productivity of sorghum and millet.
In a press release announcing the partnership, Tom Greene of Corteva Agriscience™ said, “The combination of experience from our scientists and refinement of new technologies offer promising areas for research and development.” 
Pooja Bhatnagar-Mathur, ICRISAT Principal Investigator said that the partnership will result in “more productive crops and a more prosperous future for smallholder farmers.” 
Endnotes: Kevin Kelly, “Kenya Faces Huge Losses From Armyworm, U.S. Warns,” Daily Nation (Kenya), April 10, 2018 [2,3] Press Release, Hyderabad, India, (April 12, 2018): ICRISAT And Corteva Agriscience™, Agriculture Division Of DowDupont Collaborate For Sharing Advanced Breeding Technologies To Improve Crops That Feed Millions.