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African Crop Science Journal
African Crop Science Society
ISSN: 1021-9730
EISSN: 2072-6589
Vol. 13, No. 3, 2005, pp. 201-208
Bioline Code: cs05020
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Crop Science Journal, Vol. 13, No. 3, 2005, pp. 201-208

 en Enhancing Crop Breeding Programmes: The Case of Sorghum and Pearl Millet in Southern Africa
Mgonja, M.A; Monyo, E.S & Subhash, C

Abstract

Crop breeding and variety release systems remain largely focused on national markets while seed markets are becoming increasingly globalised. Breeding programs are also poorly staffed and under-funded in relation to the number of each country’s crop breeding challenges. Studies and analyses were conducted and a synthesis is presented to provide a scientific and economic justification for improving the efficiency of crop breeding and variety registration for sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and millet (Eulisine indica) in southern Africa. Geographic Information system (GIS) analyses was used to delineate the region into 4 recommendation domains based on lengths of growing periods. Multiple variety releases exemplify potential adaptability of the varieties across country borders. Sequential retrospective pattern analyses (SEQRET), using grain yield data from Multi Environment Trials (METs) conducted over a span of 12 years, stratified the 39 Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) test sites into 6 groups according to their similarity of line-yield differentiation. This provided an objective basis for selection of a few representative benchmark test sites for future efficient regionalized variety testing through the “Lead NARS” approach of regionalized breeding for increased efficiency and cost effectiveness. Mechanism for regional release to facilitate farmers’ fast access to new improved varieties will address constraints of small seed markets.

Keywords
Crop improvement, improved varieties, seed systems, variety release

 
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