Wheat Farming in Africa 12/5/2017
ERITREA: ONGOING RESEARCH PRODUCES SIX HIGH YIELD WHEAT VARIETIES
The new varieties are 'SIDAA-1' 'CROC-1' and 'SANDALLA-4' for highlands, 'JEWAHIR-3' 'GOUMRIA-3' and 'ATILLA-7' for lowlands of Eritrea.
Average yield for these varieties in the seed multiplication farmer fields ranges between 3.3-5.5 t/ha which is well over 300% higher when compared to the national average yield of 1.1 t/ha (2011-2014 MOA report). In fact some of these varieties are recording 6-8 t/ha in some model farmer fields and on research station.
The identified varieties are under seed multiplication in farmers’ field as well as in the station. Wheat is an important and staple crop in Eritrea and is mainly grown in the highlands of highlands of Maekel Region, Debub Region and parts of Anseba Regio, Gash Barka Region and Semenawi-Keyhbahri Regions. The crop is being introduced in the lowland where there is great potential for irrigation and ample land area.
The National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) Halhale, Eritrea, with support from the AfDB funded SARD-SC Wheat project of ICARDA is conducting 13 research studies(trials) that are focused on; Improvement of wheat productivity, identification of high yielding, good quality , disease and insect resistant, environmental stress tolerant, and optimum agronomic adaptive varieties for Eritrean condition.
The limiting factors for high crop production of wheat in Eritrea include moisture stress, diseases, and weed infestation, low yielding cultivars, weak seed system and insufficient agricultural inputs. The problem of low yielding cultivars is getting solved by identifying high yielding landraces, introducing promising varieties from neighboring countries or international research centers. ERITREA
Photo credit: Tesfu Isaac / National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) Halhale, ERITREA