BMGF LogoThe BPAT is an assessment tool that facilitates a structured review of key technical, capacity and management components of plant breeding programs to help design improvements that increase their efficiency and achieve higher rates of genetic gain. This tool was developed with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The imperative to accelerate genetic gain

To improve rates of gain delivered to farmers, improvements are needed in:

  • Clarity of program objectives and product concepts
  • Technical capacity of staff
  • Organization of breeding pipelines
  • Management, accountability, and “incentivization” of scientific teams

Improved technical and managerial performance could deliver higher rates of genetic gain, adoption, and varietal turnover in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa in most staple crops.  The crop improvement system serving smallholders is lagging both technologically and managerially.  International donors and development partners are increasingly committed to helping grantees and partners improve the rates of genetic gain delivered to farmers by their breeding programs.

The Breeding Program Assessment Tool (BPAT) in brief

  • The BPAT is a structured evaluation process for breeding programs that assesses their management and organization using criteria commonly used to evaluate commercial plant breeding programs
  • It consists of a questionnaire and an evaluation visit by a team of cultivar development experts
  • A scorecard and report are generated describing program strengths and areas for improvement
  • The evaluation can then be used by the breeding program as a basis for developing an improvement plan
  • The tool will likely be used by select donors for evaluating and developing subsequent investments in crop improvement


Target Breeding Programs

In the initial phase of the project the target breeding programs for evaluation involve 10 staple crops :-

    • sorghum
    • rice
    • maize
    • wheat
    • cowpea
    • chickpea
    • common bean
    • groundnut
    • yam
    • sweet potato
    • cassava
    • banana


Target Countries

In the initial phase of the project the target breeding programs for evaluation are located within these countries