SARD-SC Researchers have been working to identify bread wheat varieties that will result in more productive crops and better quality grain for Africa – a key component of the SARD-SC program.
The search for improved crop varieties through genetic enhancement is part of the SARD‑SC program. Several wheat varieties grown by CGIAR have already been identified for their increased yield and improved resistance to diseases.
In Sudan, four promising varieties were identified and have had seed production increased. A further 40 varieties have been identified for further trials due to their heat tolerance, and 325 due to good initial performance in other areas.
In the Ethiopian lowlands, five genotypes have been identified for their performance and stability and up to three of these are likely to be submitted for release. In the Ethiopian highlands, two varieties have been developed for release. They are to be used in rain-fed highland crops where their high yield and resistance to prevalent diseases, yellow and stem rusts, will be an advantage. A further 238 lines are expected to be trialed in the second half of 2014.
In Eritrea, 12 varieties out of 48 have been selected for further evaluation based on their potential for high yields as well as other desirable traits.
In Tanzania, the performance of mature wheat crops is still to be assessed, and in Kenya trials have identified eight varieties for further evaluation due to initially good reactions to leaf and stem rusts. In Lesotho, three trial harvests are awaiting threshing.
In Zambia, trials have been conducted in both the rain-fed summer season and irrigation-based winter growing season, and 32 out of 192 genotypes have been selected for further preliminary yield trials. A further two have been submitted to the country’s Seed Control and Certification Institute due to their high performance.
In Zimbabwe, five genotypes have been selected for further trials based on their performance in high rainfall areas, and two for their response to low rainfall conditions.