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Identification of quality protein maize varieties through participatory variety selection in western and mid-western hills of nepal

Author: 
Keshab Babu Koirala, Ajanahalli Ramaiah Sadananda, Tirtha Raj Rijal, Ghanashyam Bhandari, Bandhu Raj Baral and Balram Bhandari
Subject Area: 
Life Sciences
Abstract: 

High yielding, nutritionally superior maize varieties, generally referred to as quality protein maize (QPM), compared to its normal counterpart helps not only to increase food security but also to enhance feed, fodder and nutritional security. Five QPM varieties including farmers' popular variety were evaluated at five and eight sites in Arghakhanchi, Dailekh, Dang and Surkhet districts using various schemes of participatory variety selection (PVS) like mother-baby trials, minikits and large plot variety cum production demonstrations during summer season of 2013-14 and 2014-15. Two sets of mother trials, one with recommended dose of fertilizers and second with farmers' practice of fertilizer application were planted at each site in both the years. Combined results of mother trials showed increased grain yield of the tested genotypes under recommended dose of fertilizer than in farmers' practices. Babies and minikits were managed by farmers, and mother trials and demonstrations by researchers. Highly significant differences for grain yield were recorded for location and fertilizer, significant for genotype, and genotype × location; and non-significant for location × fertilizer, fertilizer × genotype and location × fertilizer × genotype. Variety wise yield increment ranged from 10.16 (S03TLYQ- AB-01) to 27.21% (farmers' popular variety) when combined over locations. District wise yield increment was in between 4.38 (Arghakhanchi) and 51.67% (Chitwan). Feedback from babies and minikits was collected through household level questionnaire (HLQ) and focus group discussion (FGD). Most of the improved varieties were preferred by farmers compared to their popular variety because of higher grain yield, stay green character, better taste and tolerance to lodging, and better diseases and insect-pests tolerance. Based on experimental results and feedback from farmers and other stakeholders S99TLYQ-B was released as Poshilo Makai-2 in 2017 for commercial cultivation in Terai and inner Terai (up to 800 meter) during winter and mid-hills (800-1800 meter) during summer season. Thus, participatory variety selection can be used as complementory approach to conventional plant breeding.

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