In Nigeria, On-Farm Adaptive Research (OFAR) has been used to validate the performance of new seed varieties before their release. Monitoring was carried out in April 2014 by SARD-SC in partnership with the National Variety Release Committee (NVRC) and Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI) on plots in Gombe, Bauchi, Kano, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Kebbi states. Norman and Reyna-28 cultivars clearly out-performed traditional varieties and so were proposed for release in 2014.
OFAR in the highlands identified CROC-1 as the best variety for low rainfall areas, yielding 3.6 t/ha, and Reyna-15 (3.1 t/ha) for high rainfall areas. Both varieties are being considered for release in 2015.
The Atilla-Gan-Atilla variety has been demonstrated at six Innovation Platform (IP) sites in Kadawa, Alkawama, and Bagwai in Kano state, Marte and Kirenowa in Borno state, and Tolasse in Gombe state. Across the sites farmers have seen their yields increase 2–3 fold to 4–6 t/ha. During the 2013–14 season, 680 farmers received 50 kg of Atilla-Gan-Atilla for cultivation and have benefited from similarly increased yields.
In Mali, OFAR has been used to investigate and demonstrate new varieties to stakeholders. The best-performing varieties were Norman (6.8 t/ha), Reyna 28 (6.5 t/ha), and Atilla-Gan-Atilla (4.5 t/ha), all of which compared favorably to varieties used locally.
Two field days attended by 150 participants (120 men and 30 women) were held at Kogoni and Dire to disseminate information on the new varieties and answer questions relating to crop management.
The promotion of new technologies along the value chain has also been boosted by two new collaborations between SARD-SC and CAI (a producer/processor) and the Office du Niger. Further IPs are planned in the Segou region with 200 kg of Dire-12, -15, and -16 seed being distributed among 60 farmers.
In Niger, improved wheat varieties have been demonstrated at two sites: Maradi and Agadez. A field day at Agadez in March 2014 attracted 195 participants (155 men and 40 women). SARD-SC aims to establish another IP in Agadez producing Norman and another variety.