Impact on farmers’ fields

October 30, 2010 at 6:18 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Adoption of the new varieties is growing rapidly. Farmers report higher yields, reduced disease losses, and substantially higher farm income

The BOT meeting included field visits to the highland areas of Daka Bora, Ude, Adadi Gole and Beki, about 60 km from Addis Ababa, to view some of new varieties of lentil, chickpea and faba bean developed jointly by EIAR and ICARDA, that have driven spectacular growth in legume production. A group of farmers in Ude, for example, reported that their incomes have more than doubled, from the sale of high-quality seeds of chickpea variety Arerti. The national extension service plans to promote more such groups, and eventually develop the area into a seed production center for the highland zone.

A new chickpea line known as Acos Dubie is being tested on-farm in the Ejere area. With a 100-seed weight of 64 grams (30 grams is considered large), the new line is expected to fetch premium prices. The Beki area is home to a thriving processing industry, with numerous small-scale enterprises producing decorticated lentil (mainly the EIAR-ICARDA variety Alemaya) for domestic and export markets.

Lentil processing in the Beki area. Ethiopia’s lentil exports have increased more than ten-fold in the past five years, largely due to new EIAR-ICARDA varieties

The Board also visited wheat trials at the Debre Zeit research center, where researchers from several organizations are working together to halt the spread of Ug99, a new race of stem rust disease. More than 10,000 genotypes have been screened. New Ug99-resistant varieties, developed from these materials, have been released in Ethiopia; others are in the final stages of pre-release testing in Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.

“You are seeing only a few places,” said Dr Assefa. “But I can assure you that similar impacts are being generated in many other parts of Ethiopia.”

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