THE DROUGHT TOLERANT CORN: IIAM can release three new seeds

By Alcides Tamele
Media: Journal Noticias

Three new varieties of conventional maize tolerant to drought and insects will be released later this year, the Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique (IIAM) to extend the range of seeds available in the domestic market.

The seeds are being selected in a range of seven under evaluation under the project “Maize Water Efficiency for Africa (WEMA),” which is being implemented by IIAM since 2009.

It is three hybrid varieties adapted to agro-ecological conditions of the country in trials to establish its distinctness, uniformity, stability, cultivation value and use to determine the yield and other characteristics that the seeds may have.

The WEMA project coordinator in Mozambique, Pedro Suit, revealed that the seeds were selected in stages, from more than 50 crossbred varieties, of which the last seven that resist drought and pests have been chosen.

Suit said names have not been assigned to three varieties since the last test result, which are usually made only for encoded seeds.

“Usually, the names are assigned during the process of releasing the seeds, because the testing phase we use codes,” explained Peter Suit, ensuring that the new seeds have features to withstand water and high temperatures problems.

The tests in progress and the release of new seeds are being made under the WEMA project, focused on the research, production and development of maize seed varieties tolerant to drought and pests.

Since the beginning of its implementation in the Land of Chokwe station in Gaza, IIAM did many the trials, involving different experimental hybrid seeds, with varying crop cycles, from early, intermediate and late, developed in complete irrigation conditions and stopped at the time flowering in order to compare the income of each system.

Peter Fact indicated how important this project that to help overcome the drought problems facing the country and various diseases affecting the crop, but the varieties of seeds in trials present special characteristics to address these phenomena, they can be released and may have the same or lower yields in the existing market.

Upon being released, the improved seeds will be tested first at low and medium areas and subsequently submitted to higher productivity areas, the case of Angónia in Tete, where it rains regularly.

NB: The story has been translated from Portuguese.


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