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Achievements in fast-track variety testing, seed multiplication and scaling of rust resistant varieties: lessons from the wheat seed scaling project, Ethiopia

Author: Abeyo, B.
Author: Badebo, A.
Author: Gebre, D.
Author: Listman, G.M.
Year: 2020
ISBN: 978-99944-78-80-4
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10883/20837
Abstract: The traditional staple crop; wheat is threatened in Ethiopia by recurrent epidemics of rust diseases. Rust pathogen races have evolved quickly in the country, overcoming the genetic resistance of widely sown wheat varieties, which is often based on major resistance genes. Seed of new resistant varieties adapted to important agro-ecologies is not easily accessible and most Ethiopian wheat farmers re-sow saved seed, contributing to low average yields for the crop. Building on past efforts to generate and spread seed of resistant wheat varieties and with generous funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center undertook in 2015 a three-year project to scale the use and value of high-yielding, rust-resistant bread and durum wheat varieties. The project was implemented in 54 major wheat growing woredas of Amhara (11), Oromia (28), SNNP (9) and Tigray (6) regions. Federal and regional research centers, private and public seed enterprises, farmers’ cooperative unions, farmers’ seed associations, regional bureau of agriculture were engaged in the project activities. The eight chapters of this report document the project’s vision and implementation, as well as components to strengthen rust surveillance, early warning and phenotyping, fast-track variety testing and pre-release seed multiplication, demonstration and field day activities, accelerated seed multiplication, the provision of “seed loans” to reach more farmers, efforts to link smallholder durum wheat farmers with the national value chain, and a formal external study to assess the achievements and impacts of these efforts. Each chapter covers activities, partners and implementation modalities, lessons learned and the way forward. I found thisreport to be quite interdisciplinary and inclusive. In summary, more than 131,000 rural households directly benefited from the work. Wheat yields among participating farmers increased from an average 3 39 t/ha prior to the project to 4.09 t/ha by the end of the project, an improvement directly attributable to project efforts and measurably adding to farm household incomes and food security. The protocols applied to quickly scale quality seed of rust resistant wheat varieties among smallholder farmers are worthy of replication, and the project also points up the need to identify new resistance genes, develop wheat varieties of polygenic nature for durable resistance, promote farmers’ use of a genetically diverse mix of varieties, and link farmers to better and profitable markets.
Format: PDF
Language: English
Publisher: EIAR
Publisher: CIMMYT
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact CIMMYT-Knowledge-Center@cgiar.org indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Report
Place of Publication: CDMX (Mexico)
Place of Publication: Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
Pages: V, 106 pages
Country of Focus: ETHIOPIA
Agrovoc: WHEAT
Agrovoc: DISEASE RESISTANCE
Agrovoc: SEED
Agrovoc: SMALLHOLDERS


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  • Wheat
    Wheat - breeding, phytopathology, physiology, quality, biotech

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