To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

December 31, 2008

IITA develops striga-resistant maize varieties

Two new maize varieties developed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, Nigeria in conjunction with the Institute for Agricultural Research, Zaria, aim to significantly cut annual yield losses in maize production in Africa due to the infestation of Striga hermontica.

The varieties known as IWDC2SynF2 (SAMMAZ 15) and TZLComp1Syn W-1 (SAMMAZ 16), have been developed to resist parasitic weeds that substantially cut maize crop outputs in farms across Africa, according to a statement by IITA on Sunday.

Striga, also known as witch-weed, attacks cereal crops with annual maize yield losses in the savanna regions estimated to reach $7bn and with negative impact on the lives and livelihood of over 100 million people in Africa.

The parasitic plant is endemic in Africa and it constitutes the most important biotic constraint to maize production with infested areas on the continent estimated at between 21 million and 50 million hectares.

IITA’s maize breeder, Mr. Abebe Menkir said,“Several options are available for the control of Striga in maize, but the most economically feasible, safe, easily accessible and sustainable approach is the use of resistant or tolerant cultivars that the resource-poor farmers can cultivate solely or in combination with cultural management options as well as in rotations with legumes that elicit suicidal Striga germination.”

IITA and its Nigerian partners said the release of the varieties earlier this month, would boost farmers’ incomes and increase the production of maize in Nigeria.

Under researcher-managed on-station trials at Samaru, the statement noted that Sammaz 15 tasseled at 69 days and silked at 73 days; it is tolerant to both root and stalk lodging with good ear and plant aspect and good husk cover.

Sammaz 15 out yielded all the late maturing varieties evaluated. It has five per cent yield advantage over the existing Striga resistant checks Sammaz 11.

At Turunku in 2005, Sammaz 15 had the highest yield of 4.42 t/ha, which was 23 per cent more than the average of all the varieties included in the trial.

Sammaz 16 is the second late maturing variety with a plant height of 1.85m, good plant and ear aspects, no root and stalk lodging.

This variety had the highest grain yield under Striga infestation (3.2 t/ha). The grain yield reduction for this variety under Striga infestation is less than 10 per cent, IITA said.

Sammaz 16 sustained significantly less Striga damage symptoms, supported significantly fewer emerged parasites and produced significantly higher yields than the susceptible check, 8338-1.

“The results show great prospects for increased maize production in Nigeria and West and Central Africa in general,” Menkir stressed.

As a staple food crop for both rural and urban consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, maize has seen increased demand in recent times from the food industry with global utilisation of the crop as human food, animal feeds and industrial usage touching over 100 million tonnes per annum.

The Punch

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by Ourblogtemplates.com

Back to TOP