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Fast truck variety development and participatory variety selection approach for climate smart agriculture in shebel Berenta d Istrict, Eastern Gojam, Ethiopia

Author: 
Wasihun Legesse
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

Durum wheat is produced time immemorial long ago and its diversity is high in Ethiopia. But due to low quality and amount of wheat production, the Importation of hard wheat for pasta making industries is more than 40,000 tons per year. In the past three years (2014-2016) support to agriculturalresearch development for strategic crops (SARD-SC) project new strategy with the objective of increasing production and productivity of durum wheat in Ethiopia has brought a significant change in many durum wheat growing districts and one of the focus areas of the project was ShebelBerenta district, Eastern Gojam. The new innovation platform of SARD SC brings the involvement of all stakeholders together from seed to pasta in durum wheat production system. Training as a component was given for all stake holders and farmers (both husband and wife together) which was not seen in the past by other projects. One of the other strategies of the project was fast truck variety development where varieties are released in short period by testing in many locations in a year to address the problem of ever increasing climate change. Eighteen durum wheat varieties were tested at Debrezeit and other locations in 2014 cropping season. Varieties showed significant difference (P<0.01) in maturity, plant height, thousand seed weight and grain yield. Utuba was both the highest yielding and early maturing variety (3923 kg/ha) and (107.33days) respectively. The other strategy of the project was undertaking participatory variety selection (PVS) that fits to the changing environment. Twelve improved durum wheat varieties were demonstrated in different kebeles of Shebel Berenta district in 2015 cropping season. The farmer group members of each site involved in identifying their selection criteria such as: early maturity, tillering capacity, spike density and length, grain quality, height, economic yield and disease resistance. Out of these, byusing pair-wise comparison the excessive criteria list was reduced to the major eight characters differently according to village farmers’ environment, traits of interest and preference.Utuba variety which is early maturing and high yielding with high industrial quality standard was farmer’s preference during PVS. As a result of these strategies, the demand of improved durum wheat seed in the district is increased that in turn encourages the seed enterprise to be engaged in the seed production of durum wheat which had no involvement before. Now the agro-industries would have good opportunities to get enough raw materials for their pasta making industries that lead to import substitution. This system in general has got good prospects for the sustainability of durum wheat production in the country and income generations to the poor resource farmers, and to make all stake holders to be benefited as a whole.

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