Saturday, August 18, 2012


Source: The Science Times (October 2011 – February 2012) By Science Foundation for Livelihoods and Development (Scifode) The National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), Namulonge emerged East Africa’s best Maize Breeder during 2011, scooping the top regional Best Maize Breeders Award for Uganda. NaCRRI was voted and bestowed the prestigious award by the Global Maize Program at the International Wheat and Maize Improvement Centre (CIMMYT). NaCRRI Namulonge is charged with research on key cereals; among other functions, is one of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) six Public Agricultural Research Institutions (PARIs) governed under the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) policy. The Best Maize – Breeders Award recognized the significant efforts by NaCRRI to develop new maize varieties and linking them to the private sector and farmers. The Eastern African maize region comprises Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. Dr Godfrey Asea was at the center of the excellent Maize Research. He is a Plant Breeder/ Head Cereals Research Program at NaCRRI Namulonge. According to NaCRRI, the award is a big recognition of the excellent work and this gave them courage to do even higher quality breeding. The award comprised of a plaque and US$ 3,000. The presentation was made to NaCRRI at a regional Maize meeting cocktail on March 1st, 2012 in Kampala. Maize is the most important key cereal crop in Uganda along with rice, sorghum, wheat, barley and millet. UGANDA IMPROVES CROPS By The New Vision By John Kasozi THE National Crops Resources Research Institute at Namulonge has developed new drought resistant varieties of maize, cassava, beans and upland rice crops. Speaking to journalists, the plant breeder team leader, Dr. Godfrey Asea, disclosed that the institute had developed three maize drought-tolerant varieties, which are Longe 9H, Longe 10H and Longe 11H. The Longe varieties, which mature in 120 days, give high yields and are ideal for mid latitudes. He added that they can survive in drought conditions and are resistant to pests while in storage. “This year, we released an extra early maturing maize variety, MM3, which matures in 90 days. We hope this will address the short rains experienced in Karamoja of less than 1,000mm per annum,” Asea said. “With this variety, a person can start eating green maize within 60 days,” he explained, adding that other maize varieties take four months. Namulonge is developing high quality protein maize (Longe 5-Nalongo and Ssalongo Hybrid), which have higher levels of essential amino acids and tasty flour. They will be on the market next year, Asea said. He added that the varieties were being multiplied by seed companies. “The farmers will be able to buy Longe 9H from FICA, Longe 10H from NASECO and Longe 11H from CAII found in Iganga in eastern Uganda.” “We also have new upland rice varieties that are drought-resistant. They are Suparica 1 “White”, NERICA 4 “Gold” and NERICA 10. They mature between three to four months,” Asea noted. Suparica 1 has long aromatic grains and performs well in poor soils. It yields about two to three tonnes per acre. NERICA 4 has bold aromatic grains and has excellent milling ability, while NERICA 10’s spikes avoid bird damage. The institute carries out research on cassava, oil palm, cocoa, tea, coffee, beans, banana, maize and rice. It also studies fruit trees and foliage. Asea said the institute is a source of most of the crops on the market, adding that it would soon open a field of its crops to the public. “We want to show stakeholders the new drought-resistant high yielding crops, quality seeds and good agronomic and husbandry practices,” he said. Crop varieties CASSAVA: NASE 1-4 are widely adopted. NASE 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, are mainly grown in eastern Uganda. RICE: NARIC 1 (ITA 257), NARIC 2 (ITA 325), NERICA 4 (NARIC 3), also known as SUPARICA 2, NERICA 1 with aroma, and NERICA 10. Suitable for Lira, Dokolo, Iganga, Bugiri and Masindi districts. SWEET POTATOES: Wagabolige, Tanzania, Bwanjule, Tororo 3, Sowola, Nan Kawogo, NASPOT 1, NASPOT 2, NASPOT 3, NASPOT 4, NASPOT 5 and NASPOT 6. They grow well in most parts of the country. BEANS: NABE 1, NABE 2, NABE 3, NABE 4, NABE 5, NABE 6, NABE 7C, NABE 8C, NABE 9C, NABE 10C, K131 and K 132. All are disease resistant. MAIZE: Longe 1, Longe 2H, Longe 3H, Longe 4, Longe 5, PAN 67 and SC627. Capable of yielding seven tonnes per hectare. Longe 9H, 10H and 11H are drought-tolerant. MM3 is extra early maturing (90-days) and can be grown in Karamoja . IRISH POTATO: Victoria, Kisoro, NAKPOT 1, NAKPOT 2 and NAKPOT 3. They respond very well in highland areas. UGANDA RESEARCHERS DEVISE DROUGHT RESISTANT CROPS
What do you do as a nation, when long-term drought threatens to destroy your crops and ruin your harvest? Pray for rain, right? Not necessarily: researchers in Uganda have taken matters into their own hands and have bred crops that can live with less water. Researchers from the Natural Crops Resources Research Institute in Namulonge, Uganda, have made new drought-resistant strains of maize, beans, rice, and cassava, a starchy root, reports. Plant breeder and team leader Dr. Godfrey Asea told AllAfrica that the crops mature in 120 days and are resistant to pests while in storage, in addition to being more robust in dry conditions. His group has also released a strain of early maturing maize that helps people get food sooner during periods of sparse rain. Giant corporations are already on the scent. The Wall Street Journal this week reported that Monsanto, Inc., the world’s largest seed maker, and German chemical company BASF had joined forces to make their own genetically modified crops designed to survive drought conditions. The two companies plan to spend $2.5 billion making heartier corn, wheat, cotton, soybean and canola, the story reads. The pair’s drought-tolerant corn is expected to be available for the 2012 growing season. Back in Uganda, farmers have been through an extended drought that has hurt crops and hobbled the economy: coffee exports, a major commodity for Uganda, fell by 7.5 percent in June alone as dry conditions curtailed bean yields. Meanwhile, testing goes on to make crops in the region more robust, particularly the cassava, which scientists are breeding to make more resistant to targeted viruses. Kenya, too, is pushing for new breeds of the root to boost food stocks: the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute recently released new breeds of cassava to stave off food insecurity as drought continues there, too, Business Daily Africa reports. “The new varieties will be the backbone of a three-year cassava project by Farm Concern and Alliance for Green Revolution Africa (Agra) recognizing the potential of cassava as the ‘poverty and drought fighter’ crop in Africa,” the story reads. Photo: CIAT/Creative Commons via Flickr

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the information.How can one access information on the description of such varieties