Breeders and extension agents interact with farmers during a monitoring team visit to a groundnut participatory varietal trial site. Photo Benjamin, Shiyanbola

Breeders and extension agents interact with farmers during a monitoring team visit to a groundnut participatory varietal trial site. Photo: Benjamin, Shiyanbola

With the aim of proposing best bet groundnut varieties for release by the National Agricultural Seed Council, multi-location trials were conducted for the 2015 cropping season at Minjibir, Gumel, Zango and Zaria in northern Nigeria. The screening was for rosette tolerance, aflatoxin resistance, foliar fungal disease resistance and drought tolerance.

Along with national partners, the ICRISAT groundnut breeding team has been working on developing varieties that are early maturing; climate resilient; have high pod, haulm and oil yields; tolerant to biotic stresses such as rosette, aflatoxin, leaf spot diseases; and resistant to aphids, borers and spider mites.

Alongside the recent trials, on-station performance evaluations were held at Minjibir and Zaria managed by a team comprising research staff of the Institute for Agricultural Research and ICRISAT. The trials at all locations, for selection for drought tolerance and disease resistance, consisted of 15 breeding lines and three local varieties as checks. A standard randomized complete block design with three replicates and six entries per block was used with every replicate having three blocks.

Independent exercises were conducted at three of the four sites during the 2015 cropping season. The ICRISAT groundnut breeding team was led by Dr Babu Motagi, Senior Scientist – Groundnut Breeding (Grain Legumes). The participatory varietal selection exercises were initially lead by Dr Hakeem Ajeigbe, Nigeria Country Representative and Principal Scientist, Agronomy.

The exercises at the three field sites were led by Dr Vabi Boboh Michael, Country Project Manager, Nigeria, along with groundnut breeding research technicians. Results of pair-wise ranking exercise in the trials indicated the alignment of farmers’ preference with groundnut breeders’ concerns on the development of improved groundnut varieties.

The trials were part of the Tropical Legumes-III (TL-III) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Groundnut Upscaling Project which is undertaken as part of the CGIAR Research Program on Grain Legumes.

Source: ICRISAT Happenings