Facilitating transfer of wheat varieties to CameroonGIANT
BY JOSHUA OKONYA AND BEN MOSES ILAKUT
ASARECA received a request from the Director General of Institut de Recherche Agricole pour le Développement (IRAD) in July 2022 to support the Institute to source bread wheat genotypes from ASARECA member countries for testing in Cameroon agro-ecologies in order to identify the best performing lines.
The Cameroonian Government had just decided to boost wheat production locally to assuage consequences associated with over dependence on wheat imports. ASARECA sent out these requests to the sub-region’s wheat hubs of Ethiopia, Sudan, and Kenya.
Using material transfer agreements
Thereafter, ASARECA brokered material transfer arrangements. The lines targeted were for dry and hot irrigated environments with relatively mild winters and prone to heat stress during most of the growing season. Each set consisted of three replicates.
These entries were selected based on their performance under the heat stress environment at the ICARDA-ARC Heat Research Platform, Wad Medina, Sudan. The trial plots were established and harvested in all the sites in April 2023.
Sudan dispatches varieties to Camerooun
Subsequently, Sudan in the last quarter of 2022 transferred the germplasm to Cameroon. These included the five best-performing varieties, especially the heat stress tolerant varieties such as Bohaine, Amel Ageeb, Imam, and Milan/Pastor/Debeira from Agricultural Research Corporation.
The wheat varieties demonstrated promising results in terms of earliness and agronomic performance, which were observed at various sites, especially in Meskine, Wakwa and Meskine/Mbé where the harvest was done.
IRAD asks for more
Following experimentation, IRAD requested for more seed for four bread wheat varieties from Kenya, which were transferred to IRAD in July 2022. Among the four varieties, Impala showed good results with regards to the desirable traits. IRAD has since requested ASARECA to broker the transfer of another 300kgs of promising varieties for wider adaptive trials with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to confirm performance under farmer-managed systems