New wheat varieties in Ethiopia

February 28, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Seed multiplication of the new varieties at ICARDA’s Tel Hadya research station in Syria

Wheat production in Ethiopia is threatened by rust diseases: stem rust occurs in some areas, and yellow rust is common. Most currently grown varieties are susceptible: last year a yellow rust epidemic destroyed up to 80% of the wheat crop in some areas. The Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), ICARDA and other partners are working together to develop high-yielding, rust-resistant varieties. Two new varieties of spring bread wheat (Flag 5 and ETBW 5483), developed through this program, have been released for cultivation in Ethiopia. A third variety, ETBW 5496, has been provisionally released, but large-scale field trials will continue for another season. This was announced in February by Ethiopia’s National Variety Release Committee.

The new varieties are resistant to three important diseases: yellow rust, stem rust (including race Ug99) and Septoria leaf blotch. They yield 5.1 to 5.4 tons/hectare, about 21% more than most current varieties. The next step is to produce sufficient seed to enable farmers to replace their current varieties with new ones. Seed multiplication has already begun, under a pro-active program supported by the USAID Famine Fund and implemented by ICARDA, EIAR, the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise and other partners. The program has already produced more than 800 kg of seed, and production will be scaled up further.

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  1. It is an interesting news!! Great Job is being undergoing by these institutes. One thing i need to know, however, is if at all there exist an epidemics of such diseases again just by chance or environmental condition, an alternative management option should have been stated or included in the studies.

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